Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder nodebtnow Novitiate

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    Angry Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    I have been off work for 6 weeks with stress related headaches. Six months ago I booked a flighticon to Spain for my annual holidayicon (this June) to visit my mother who lives there permanently. My doctor, who has been certifying me for SSP purposes, has said it would be a good idea for me to go as it would benefit my health.

    My work on the other hand has told me that employment law says I am unable to leave the country (think they may have that wrong) and that they may invoke disciplinary proceedings if I do. They are saying that I would have to sign myself back to work for the period of my holidays, then go on holiday, and also provide a letter to them from my GP stataing that I was allowed to go abroad.

    Can anyone with a knowledge of employment confirm that my work cannot require me to stay at home whilst on certified Sick leave, and that even if I did go, a GP would not issue a letter to my employee unless I gave my permission.

    I think my work have got it ar*e for elbow !

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder sharkie Novitiate sharkie's Avatar

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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    nodebtnow

    Welcome

    Its a bit tricky this if you intend to return to work you may get some grief from your colleagues about going on holidayicon whilst off sickicon, however, if you are genuinely signed off it does not matter where you take your sickness, a few years ago you may have been sent away to recuperate, The only possible snag is of course is if your company is paying you full pay whilst off sick.
    Is there anything in your terms and conditions.

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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    Are your employers medically qualified? Does the fact that you are going away mean that you will no longer suffer from headaches?

    Unless you have a unique contract of employment in that it states that you are only eligible for company sick pay when you are confined within the four walls of your house, then they can do very little. Providing that you have a sick note which covers the period when you are away then you cannot be disciplined. There is nothing in employment law which say that you cannot go abroad and they cannot make you report as being fit for work if you are not. You are going away with the blessing of your doctor who thinks that it may be of benefit to you.

    What they are entitled to do is to question whether you are actually sick, and they can ask for your permission to contact your doctor. You do not have to give permission, but they could then take this into account in deciding whether to start capability proceedings. Your terms and conditions may also provide them with a clause to withhold company sick pay if you do not allow them access to a medical report. Of course if the doctor is willing to confirm your sickness and his opinion on you travelling then they would find it very difficult to argue.

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    Basic Account Holder cal37 Novitiate

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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    Just to add to what sidewinder said about questioning whether you are actually sick.

    For example, in your case the sun and relaxation could be of great benefit but you clearly can not work. But if you had broken you leg but you’re going on a bike holidayicon they could rightly say if you’re fit to ride a bike your fit to work.

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    Basic Account Holder paulgmb Novitiate

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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    There are 2 ways of dealing with this. You can either get your doctor to say that in his/her opinion the holidayicon would benefit your recovery and then you should be able to continue on your sick leave or say to the company that as you will be on annual leave and useing part of your annual leave entitlement, its got nothing to do with them where you are. If you were still unwell upon your return you may have to get another doctors certificate.
    Sidewinder is spot on. I once represented someone who was being disciplined for being seen in a supermarket whilst off sickicon We won the case because the employer had to accept that this person (who lived alone) had to eat!!
    Lastly, if the company aren't paying you sick pay pay and you are only receiving SSP whats their problem as there is no cost factor involved?


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    Basic Account Holder nodebtnow Novitiate

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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    Thanks Paul, cal and sidewinder...I thought my work were a bot OTT with this. I am still receiving my full monthly salary, so it is probably not just SSP I receive.
    My doctor has no problem continuing to certify me as sick in the meantime. I would rather have no headaches and be at work, but the attitude of my work is making them worse. Anyway, thanks for the brilliant advice guys. Regards


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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    One more thing however you may not have thought about: If you have travel insurance (and you should), make sure you make them aware of your problem before going and get confirmation in writing that they have been made aware of it! Should something happen to you whilst abroad, non-disclosure of pre-existing conditions could be reason enough for them to decline cover and trying to argue it out will give you a much bigger headache! ;-)

    Just passing through, don't mind me...!
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    Basic Account Holder nodebtnow Novitiate

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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    The matter has been rectified, and my GP clarified the position.

    Basically my doctor has told me that it is none of my work`s business where I go during my period of sick leave as she has deemed me to be unfit for work only.
    She added that if my work have any problem with that, they can approach my medical practice, and for a fee, can request a letter from her, to which she will tell them that my health is none of their business. Doctors are great!!!!!!!!!


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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    If it is stress related that you are signed off, doctors can "prescribe" a holidayicon for you, in other words, tell you that a stress free holiday away from what ever is causing your stress will help you.

    2006, I was off work sick, not sure if I was just sick of work or what anyway, the Occu Health came to see me, said in her report that i was "FIT FOR WORK" and that "THE GP MUST NOT BE QUALIFIED" and that If I did not return to work, then my salary should be stopped. I showed this letter to my GP, to say the least he was not impressed, as he qualified some 35 years previously and had practised medicine ever since. (I hate that term "Practised" ) Well anyway, he wrote to my employer, don't know what was said in the letter, but I received a letter from H.R. informing me to take as much time as was required, and if I needed anything to let them know.

    I returned to work few weeks later, and asked to see the Occu Health Adviser, but I was told she was no longer with us. Shame

    So yes, it has nothing what so ever to do with your employer if you take a holiday, so long as it does not cause you sickness to worsen and extend your period of sickness.

    Thanks
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    Basic Account Holder tezzah Novitiate

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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    Your GP may be wrong. What does your contract of employment state? In the industry where i work you cannot take annual leave outside the UK if you are off sickicon without permission of the company. Usually the leave will be granted if (as in your case) your GP thinks it will help. It may also depend on your pay, as mentioned earlier, are you getting full pay whilst off sick or SSP? Bookworms last post is very relevant too. It also depends on the type of sickness, if it was (for example) Deep Vein Thrombosis and you decided to fly they could question if you are really fit to fly.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    Quote Originally Posted by nodebtnow View Post
    I have been off work for 6 weeks with stress related headaches. Six months ago I booked a flighticon to Spain for my annual holidayicon (this June) to visit my mother who lives there permanently. My doctor, who has been certifying me for SSP purposes, has said it would be a good idea for me to go as it would benefit my health.

    My work on the other hand has told me that employment law says I am unable to leave the country (think they may have that wrong) and that they may invoke disciplinary proceedings if I do. They are saying that I would have to sign myself back to work for the period of my holidays, then go on holiday, and also provide a letter to them from my GP stataing that I was allowed to go abroad.

    Can anyone with a knowledge of employment confirm that my work cannot require me to stay at home whilst on certified Sick leave, and that even if I did go, a GP would not issue a letter to my employee unless I gave my permission.

    I think my work have got it ar*e for elbow !

    Thanks
    How long have you been employed by them?


  12. #12
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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    I was having a chat with my dr who is also a friend. I mentioned the above and he said that people are put off sickicon to 'rest and recouperate' and that time away from the home environment would be more restfull and aid recouperation than staying at home.
    He also said that it was a complete myth that you could not go out or away on holidayicon when off sick, he even suggested that it was probably employers who were perpetrating this myth.

    Also, employment law says nothing about not going abroad while sick.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    Quote Originally Posted by nodebtnow View Post
    The matter has been rectified, and my GP clarified the position.

    Basically my doctor has told me that it is none of my work`s business where I go during my period of sick leave as she has deemed me to be unfit for work only.
    She added that if my work have any problem with that, they can approach my medical practice, and for a fee, can request a letter from her, to which she will tell them that my health is none of their business. Doctors are great!!!!!!!!!
    What a rather bizarre outburst from your GP.

    Of course it is the employer's business to know where you are during your sick leave, out of courtesy if nothing else.

    There are countless situations where an employee on sick may need to be contacted and, indeed, ordered to return to work, signed off sickicon or not.

    You have stated your employer continues to pay your salary whilst your sick yet your doctor says it has nothing to do with them and, for a fee, she will tell them to mind their own business!

    I would kindly ask my GP to not do so if I wanted to continue being paid by my employer!

    Incredible.


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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniff View Post
    He also said that it was a complete myth that you could not go out or away on holidayicon when off sickicon, he even suggested that it was probably employers who were perpetrating this myth.

    Also, employment law says nothing about not going abroad while sick.
    I think you will find employment law does indeed address situations of sickness, going on holiday whilst sick and then getting the sack because of that.

    Somebody with an, alleged, broken leg who is sick from work yet decides to go on holiday skiing is unlikely to win an unfair dismissal claim!


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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    Quote Originally Posted by Weird Al Yankovic View Post
    I think you will find employment law does indeed address situations of sickness, going on holidayicon whilst sick and then getting the sack because of that.

    Somebody with an, alleged, broken leg who is sick from work yet decides to go on holiday skiing is unlikely to win an unfair dismissalicon claim!
    I didn't mean there was no mention at all of sick in the working time regs, I meant in the general term as posted by the op.

    Sorry for any confusion.


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    Default Re: Can I go on holiday whilst on Sick Leave???

    Quote Originally Posted by Conniff View Post
    I didn't mean there was no mention at all of sick in the working time regs, I meant in the general term as posted by the op.

    Sorry for any confusion.
    Not at all, my apologies for reading it incorrectly.



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