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Frequently Asked Questions

They say that 'Knowledge is Power'. Our aim is to Empower you and your business with answers to your questions.

Can an employee take holiday while on sick leave?

Yes, the employee and employer can agree to use some of the holiday entitlement to offset some of the sickness absence, this is likely to be when an employee is off long term and may be receiving SSP or on pay and wish to increase their pay for a period.

Can an employee work elsewhere whilst on sick leave?

If an employee has more than one place of work, they may be fit to work one of their jos, but may not be fit to work their other, for example, if they had a labour intensive role they may not be fit to do this but may be able to perform another role that is not labour intensive. A period of voluntary work may also be suggested for an employee if a GP feels this would benefit the employee.

 

 

What should an employer do if they receive a fit note stating the employee may be fit for work taking into account the following advice?

Review the advice from the GP and look at whether th employer can accommodate the advice taken, it may be that the advice has suggested a phased return to work, or reduced duties, the employer would need to look and see whether it would be feasible to accommodate the suggestions. This needs to be done with open discussions with the employee, for example welfare meetings.

What happens if the employer cannot accommodate the recommendations on a doctor's fit note?

The employee would remain absent for work and would continue to receive their sick pay.

What should an employer do if an employee fails to attend work and hasn't notified the employer of their absence?

Phone the employee, if the employee doesn't answer leave them a message with details of how to contact you. If you still cannot reach the employee and you are concerned phone their emergency contact. Depending on the situation this may result in a disciplinary or a dismissal.

Is it acceptable for a line manager to maintain contact with an employee during a period of long term sickness?

Yes, the line manager should agree with the employee a timescale of how often they will keep in touch with them. The purpose would be to establish how they are and whether there are any updates to their current condition, and to keep  them up to date with what has been happening at work while they have been away.

Can an employee be employed indefinitely on a fixed term contract?

Under Regulation 8 of the Fixed Term Employees Regulation, employees who have been employed continuously for 4 years or more are automatically considered to be a permanent employee, unless there is a specific reason why they cannot be considered this.

Do employers need to re-issue contracts to take into account the GDPR Regulations?

No, updating the privacy notice and ensuring the Data Protection Policy is up to date and that employees have seen it is sufficient so that you do not have to re-issue contracts to all employees. New employees going forward should have a different contract that has been updated to reflect the new legislation.

Where the employee has been employed on a fixed term contract, can the contract be terminated early if the employee they are covering chooses to return early i.e. maternity/paternity/shared parental/adoption/sabbatical etc.?

This would depend on the wording in the contract. The employee may be able to claim breach of contract, which if there is a substantial length of time left on the contract may mean the full period of the contract has to be paid as the breach.

Where an individual accepts a job offer but subsequently accepts another offer from a different company, will the first employer be ale to do anything about it?

This would be seen as a breach of contract, however, it is likely to be too costly to try and claim anything from the individual. The contract would have a termination clause whereby the employee is able to give notice to leave if they had already started, this notice period would also apply prior to starting employment.

Where an individual has accepted an offer of employment, but the employer can no longer sustain the offer, can it be withdrawn?

Consideration should be taken into why the offer is being withdrawn, if it is because it is discovered the individual has a protected characteristic then the individual may be able to make a claim for discrimination.  The withdrawal would be a breach of contract, however there would be a notice clause within the contract, so notice should be paid in line with the notice regardless of whether the employee had started or not.

Can an employer change the date that they pay people?

You should consult with all employees to change their pay date and agree with them, changing without their agreement could be breach of contract.

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Juliet Price is the Managing Director here at Park City and has extensive, specialist knowledge in HR, Health & Safety and staff development. Enter your question below and we'll be back in touch soon with an answer!

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