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Sick pay and return to work

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I will try and explain as best I can - hope it makes sense.


I joined my present company in July 2009. I am a training consultant so basically teaching classes of people. During that year I got excellent feedback and attracted repeat business to the company.


In June 2010 my employer told me to go and do a course I wasn't qualified for. For four days I faced a class of very aggressive people. To cut a long story short it really knocked my confidence. I should never have been sent to do it. A few other things were going on in my life and as a result I became depressed and very anxious. I have had depression for 10 years but up until June had been managing it ok.


I have been off work now for five weeks. Per my contract of employment I get 10 weeks on full pay and then have to go on to SSP.


With my health the way it is I cant go back to doing exactly what I was doing before. My job involved travelling and being away from home for 2 - 3 nights each and every week. Thats not possible for me at the moment. I am taking medication and seeing a counsellor so am helping myself as much as possible.


I had a meeting with my manager on Monday who has basically said the choices are a) I leave or b) I go on to SSP and just stay off.


Is there anyone who can give me some advice please? Do I have any rights under the DDA? I feel at a loss and scared stiff that in 4 weeks time I will go from earning £2300 per month to £79 SSP per week.

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Welcome to the site.

Not sure of the answer personally,but I am sure someone will be along who can answer soon.

Have a happy and prosperous 2013 by avoiiding Payday loans. If you are sent a private message directing you for advice or support with your issues to another website,this is your choice.Before you decide,consider the users here who have already offered help and support.

Advice offered by Martin3030 is not supported by any legal training or qualification.Members are advised to use the services of fully insured legal professionals when needed.



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Hello there, what a tough time you're having. I think I said on your other thread that some employers have insurances to cover employees who are off sick. Does your employee handbook say anything about that?


I think I also mentioned checking out your credit cards and mortgage cover. When I was first ill, part of my credit card payment was taken care of and I had a policy alongside the mortgage that paid out for illness or redundancy.


Don't leave, I don't think that will help anything.


I hope we can think of some other angles for you.


HB x

Illegitimi non carborundum




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Hi Oakmoss


Did the employer know of your previous bouts of depression? What was the reason for insisting that you teach a class that you were not qualified to teach? Did you complain about the aggression at the time? if you did what did your employer do about that complaint?


The DDA is quite complex and sometimes is in conflict with other legislation, we need to be clear as to what the employer knew about you and you condition and then did some overt act that prejudiced you.


I think there are other options for you though and one is to return to work asking for adjustments to the work pattern, but let's not get ahead of ourselves.

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Yes, employer knew I had depression.


They just told me I would be alright doing the course. The aggression was witnessed by another consultant who was there doing a routine check ride on me and also there was another consultant teaching a different group in the same place. No complaint was made to the client as they are one of the biggest my company has. Changes were made to the business but little done to help me apart from a half baked apology and a 'we all have bad courses' (believe me this was much much worse than simply a bad day). They sent me out with other consultants for a couple of weeks to sit in but apart from that nothing at all. Then I was expected to jump back in and get on with it. Thats when I broke.

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The fact that you have had a long period of illness MAY afford you some protection under the DDA but the DDA and the Codes of Practice written by the EHRC states that the impairment must also affect daily living........


The test of whether an impairment affects normal day-to-day activities is whether it affects one of the broad categories of capacity listed in Schedule 1 to the Act.

They are:

■ mobility

■ manual dexterity

■ physical co-ordination

■ continence

■ ability to lift, carry or otherwise move

everyday objects

■ speech, hearing or eyesight

■ memory or ability to concentrate, learn or

understand, or

■ perception of the risk of physical danger.


So, were any of these pertinent BEFORE the 4 day course? If not are any of them pertinent now?



Did you raise any objection to doing this course if so what did you say? I don't think I was asking if a complaint to the client was made but to YOUR employer? If so what was said to you? I am trying to establish if the employer knew of the problems and did nothing or little about it.

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My depression certainly does affect daily living.


I told them before the course that I couldnt do it as I wasnt qualified. They just told me it would be alright.


Afterwards I put all my concerns in writing to my employer.


Their response was to put me out with my colleagues for a few weeks to regain my confidence and then to get on with it.

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I think that we are becoming bogged down on treating this as one issue when there are actually two issues. If the OP is off sick, the are entitled to contractual sick pay, and when that runs out, to SSP. That's an absolute position - whether the OP has a disability or not isn't relevant. So once the contractual sick pay has run out then SSP becomes the operable payment.


Whether or not the employer has breached the DDA in expecting the OP to reach this class, and whether or not the have potentially breached health and safety duty of care, is a very different issue. I suspect not, and even if they have, I suspect there will not be sufficient evidence to demonstrate a personal injury, since even the OP has said that his current depression is only partly arising from this work based problem, and that there are other contributing factors in his/her personal life that are part of the picture.


What is clear is that the OP should not resign (standard advice - never resign!), since there is no financial benefit in doing so, and it is then down to the employer to make the next move - which may or may not be legally correct. In otherw ords, let the employer make the running, because things can't really get any worse if the OP is fairly dismissed on capability grounds; they may get better if the OP can return to work; and the worst case scenario is that the stay they same as they are.

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I think SarEl is absolutely right. You should listen carefully as she gives a legal opinion based on the facts that you have told us. On the limited information that we obtain on the forum it is very difficult to separate the reality of what the OP's actually state and what we as Cagger's suspect may be the case. Even SarEl 'suspects' things as you can see from her reply.


SarEl focuses of the contractual and SSP issues and also gives an opinion based thus far on what you have said as to whether any action under the DDA or a Personal Injury action would be successful. Those issues and the evidence to support them may or may not be there in fact but they are not there thus far in the information that we have been told by you. You need to elaborate much more giving detailed information / dates etc


You quite rightly are really scared about the future and the loss of income and seek advice. I think it may be helpful if you can identify what you want out of this ie how you feel about going back to work for this employer or whether you are just looking at the most efficient way to leave. I suppose I am saying is what is it that you think should be happening? I know it is difficult but you need to have a goal in mind and if that means resorting to a legal remedy you need to have the evidence. That evidence may yet be in the future actions of your employer and how they react to requests and information that you have yet to give too. These situations are often fluid and reactive.


I do wonder if you have been given enough support after this incident and whether submitting a grievance is a worthwhile option. This may aggravate the situation though. I wonder what SarEl and other Cagger's think on this?

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