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Sick pay advice

Hi all,
Any advice would be a big help.

basically….
Joined a company as a full time employee around 8 months ago.
Received what I guess is a standard enough contract had a 3 months employment before sick pay etc. 6 month probation period.

Probation period passed no sick leave was taken. 
Notice was handed in of which 3 months had to be given as well due to recent passing of probabtion which I accepted. 
6 weeks into notice period been working as usual Been struck down with illness and had a few days off which even had since received a 5 day sick note for clarity from doctors for rest of the week before hopefully returning for work in better health next Monday.

i have provided this to my manager today who has replied with HR in cc stating I will only be getting paid for statutory sick pay for all my sick leave as I’m working my notice and they only pay SSP during such.
note my contract does not state this nor refer to any documents for reference.
they have provided a document dated this month that states such by email to me today.

just wondered if this is normal or not as it’s going to leave me financially f’d and I’m going to have to against doctors advice potentially return to work tomorrow in order to avoid any further financial loss.

i found the below on gov website too and still waiting a further reply from HR on the matter.
https://www.gov.uk/handing-in-your-notice/payment-during-your-notice-period


thanks in advance  
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Comments

  • What is a matter with you?
  • Unless your contract specifically says your not entitled to anything more than ssp.

    https://www.acas.org.uk/checking-sick-pay
  • R0TW said:
    What is a matter with you?
    Had covid then now a bout of flu/tonsillitis so 4 days had off recovering from covid until I got the 5 day sign off today.
    had no other time off since been there and reviewing contract re sick pay see no mention unless grievance or disciplinary of ssp pay only when sick.
    just wondering anyone had any HR expertise or general knowledge if a company can suddenly provide a document in an email today which states on it SSP only pay when sick during notice period even though Gov website states otherwise.

  • R0TW said:
    What is a matter with you?
    Had covid then now a bout of flu/tonsillitis so 4 days had off recovering from covid until I got the 5 day sign off today.
    had no other time off since been there and reviewing contract re sick pay see no mention unless grievance or disciplinary of ssp pay only when sick.
    just wondering anyone had any HR expertise or general knowledge if a company can suddenly provide a document in an email today which states on it SSP only pay when sick during notice period even though Gov website states otherwise.

    How long have you been working there? 
  • 9 months now

  • sounds like poop to me but wait to hear from Mr Munro
  • As you have sent them your sick note, you probably aren't allowed to go back to work early...
  • R0TW said:
    What is a matter with you?
    Years of supporting Charlton has a serious affect on your health 
  • Pedro45 said:
    As you have sent them your sick note, you probably aren't allowed to go back to work early...
    This, when I got signed off I had to get the doctor to sign me back to work when well again. 
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  • edited November 21
    Your notice period is still part of your employment. Normal sick pay rules should apply. You can't work while signed off as employers have a duty of care.
  • Subject to the disclaimer that I'm not a lawyer or HR person, and it's a while since i was a union rep, but my initial reaction is that they are taking the proverbial.

    If your contract states that you're entitled to company sick pay after x amount of service (and doesn't add any conditions other than getting a doctor's certificate, or say it's discretionary or anything like that) and doesn't refer to other documents, and they are now trying to claim otherwise, that sounds extremely dubious.

    In some sick pay schemes, you don't get company sick pay for the first X days, or get a maximum of Y days' company sick pay in any year - this should be made clear in contract / separate policy.

    Other documents, e.g. a policy document (although generally one that's in circulation, not one they make up or pluck out of the air when it suits them), or even unwritten 'established custom and practice' can be considered to form part of a contract of employment, though.

    Employers can seek to change employment contracts, but they can't just do it behind your back and tell you after the event.

    Gut feeling is that you may have a claim for 'unlawful deduction of wages' here, which is a claim via employment tribunal (although generally speaking you have at least to try and resolve it via a grievance before you go to tribunal.)

    Next question is getting some better advice than I can give - I presume since you're asking the question here that you're not a trade union member.

    ACAS (the ones who employers and trade unions sometimes talk to in disputes) have a phone help line that any individual can ring - details here.

    Alternatively, do you have access to any free / cheap legal advice?  sometimes membership or professional body gives this, or home / car insurance.

    I'd also agree that technically, you can't go back to work if you've been signed off sick unless a doctor signs to say you are now fit to go back to work.  If employer is being difficult, they will probably insist on this, or might even use it against you to argue that you weren't genuinely ill in the first place.

    Hope you're on the mend soon, and hope the new job is better!

    Thank you for this really appreciate advice 


  • Sounds pretty simple to me, you are just like any other employee during your notice period. If your contract gives you sick pay (ie company sick pay better than SSP), you are entitled to that. 

    If they’ve produced a document which says otherwise they need to incorporate that into contracts but can’t just do it without employees knowledge. 
  • edited November 21
    What do your union say? If you don't have a union, try ACAS. This may help:
    https://www.acas.org.uk/final-pay-when-someone-leaves-a-job/pay-during-the-notice-period .
    I am not a HR person, but my first port of call would be checking the wording of your contract carefully, and see if it has any references to the "staff handbook" or similar to see if that's the basis of the stunt they're trying to pull with the document. However, as you say there isn't any reference to one of those, gut feeling is they're trying to pull a fast one.

    (And in the time it's taken me to write this @CatfordCat and @bobmunro have written better, more detailed answers :) )
  • This site is really great sometimes thank you all for your help. 
    Reading through contract in detail and receiving a response they are basically trying to say it’s because my notice I am noting getting usual sick pay even though I’m still an employee they are referencing a point on contract that makes no mention of SSP only when working notice but says basically at the companies absolute discretion.
    So my current understanding is the company can and I know do pay standard wages and would being doing so was I not working my notice.
    The reason they are not is because they know I am leaving and reference the at company’s discretion.
    I have sent a further follow up with my thoughts (staying as professional as I can) and can’t see them backing down sadly and if was a couple of hundred quid I would just let it go but fact it’s not and they are not paying in on back of no reference in contract to this document provided today really is something that is making me struggle to drop it.
    financially I cannot afford to be off the rest of the week and although don’t feel up to working have no choice but to do so.
    thanks to everyone for all your help again 
  • Sounds like they're trying it on to save themselves a few shekels as you're leaving, probably thinking you will just take it.
  • edited November 21
    When you first go back go to your manager's desk and cough all over 'em.
    Then off to HR and sneeze all over the friendly colleague who stiched you up.

    Then spend the day coughing, sneezing, blowing your nose and moaning about how you feel like death etc etc.

    Seek out the CEO  cough, sneeze and explain how very unwell your are.

    Leave the waste basket in the toilet and communal areas full of snotty tissues.

    Hopefully you have a team meeting this week, repeat the above coughing and sneezing over all these friendly people.

    Hopefully they will all go down with the same virus. They only have their arsehole colleagues to blame...  😉

    Edit: spend the next few weeks eating fish at lunch, cooked in the office microwave.
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  • Phone ACAS 0300 123 1100 - really helpful and knowledgeable.  At least you'll know where you stand and what you can/should say to HR - which you can then preface with "I spoke to ACAS and was advised..." which should prompt them into doing the right thing and not just Make Stuff Up because the think they're bigger than you.
  • TeslaGirl said:
    Phone ACAS 0300 123 1100 - really helpful and knowledgeable.  At least you'll know where you stand and what you can/should say to HR - which you can then preface with "I spoke to ACAS and was advised..." which should prompt them into doing the right thing and not just Make Stuff Up because the think they're bigger than you.
    My view of ACAS is that in these sort of situations they are about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
  • That's sad - I've found then extremely helpful on a number of occaisions.  OP could try them, anyway?
  • Well done everyone. 
  • Well done perseversance pays. BTw if the policy documents on the intranet are not referred to in the CoE then they are irrelevant.
  • ***UPDATE***
    So this morning I sent a very long email.
    Referencing the clauses they state and the fact that in the clause it states company sick pay paid for 4 weeks of a 12 month calendar year upon successfully completing 28 weeks employment.

    Note I had done all of the above and not been sick previously in my time.

    They had emailed me policy documents available on the company intranet which have a ”absence policy” which states company sick pay is under discretion and upon notice period you will be paid SSP if sick.

    Now my argument is not only do I feel this is unfair I was never sent this or advised of this until the other day. 

    I sent a very in-depth and long winded email on how I want to remain professional and work hard (which they can see I have only done currently) but that such a financial loss (almost 2 weeks pay) would cause me with other worries and issues.

    Additionally I informed them I had contacted ACAS who confirmed from information provided I have a case for unlawful deduction of earnings (per bob munros earlier advice) and that I was also looking into the grievance procedure.

    I had received no response all day to just receive a very long email but the important part reads:

    “As a response to your grievances about this matter, the Firm is happy to continue providing you with Company Sick Pay for the remainder of your notice as long as appropriate sickness reporting procedure is followed and in line with the limits of Company Sick Pay, as a gesture of good will”.

    So I can now just get my head down for final 7 weeks knowing will have no financial issues or anger towards company and just leave and look forward to starting my new role in the new year.

    thanks everyone for all the advice :)

    Well done. You'll be well rid of those slippery fuckers.
  • Thats great news then & you can enjoy xmas without worrying about Bill's or anything. 

    What a great place this is. 
  • Excellent news.
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