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Making up time when signed off sick


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Hi

I was off sick all last week and I have a sick note to cover this. I work one in three Saturdays and it was my turn to work this Saturday (however this was covered in my sick note).

I was asked today when I intend to make up my saturday - surely if I was signed off sick I shouldn't have to make this up? Any ideas?

I work full time and have been there for 5 years. I cannot find my contract but can get a copy tomorrow

 

Thanks

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Are you paid uder a sick pay scheme whilst off sick or do you not get paid? Try to get a copy of your contract as that will hopefully clarify what the situation is.

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Hi. I haven't found a copy of my contract, however the HR dept has confirmed there is nothing in writing - it is implied!! "It has always been this way (i have been here for 21 years and I haven't heard of it) unless you're on long-term sick (again nothing in writing)". I have offered (against my better judgement) to do an hour every day next week (which is o/time rate (even though I don't get paid it)) but they have said if I don't do a Saturday then I am "getting away with it". Also, because they bullied another member of staff into doing this a few months ago, if I don't do it then it will give him/her cause to complain!

ACAS said to write a greivance

Any ideas would be great - Thanks

 

(sorry I know I said in first post I had been there 5 years, but in all it is 21 as I left and came back!)

Edited by tiaposy
Missed something off!
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Thanks Honeybee. However surely implied cannot stand up in court of law!?

 

Oh, I am afraid it can! Implied terms often come into court, and they are very real. I am making some assumptions here, so feel free to correct me if I am incorrect on anything. Your work pattern if five days per week, Mon- Fri, and one Saturday in every three. Other people do the same job as you, and have the same work pattern. So Mon-Fri there is a full staff complement, and on Saturday you either have a reduced work complement, or you have some part-time staff who only work on Saturdays. So the more experienced staff such as yourself would be a "mainstay" of Saturday work, one way or the other. So if you were needed on a Saturday, someone would have had to cover whilst you were off, and hence work two Saturdays in three rather than one? In which case, I can see the employers argument that your pattern - and your pay - is calculated on the basis of 5 days per week plus one Saturday in three, and by being off they are forced to alter the shift pattern to let whoever covered for you have their day off.

 

That is all an assumption, as I said, but this would appear to be the argument the employer is putting. But that aside, if this is an implied term and has been practiced by the employer, it could very well be legally enforceable; and the fact that you know someone else has been in the same poition seems to suggest that it is the employers working practice. On that basis, you would need to show that it isn't, or the implied condition applies.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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I agree with the cover issue however I work Saturdays with someone else so nobody had to cover for me - if they had I would obviously make it up for them in return. But I was signed off sick - I have a sick note to prove it.

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I am not disputing the fact that you were sick - I am pointing out that implied terms are lawful. Whether this is an implied term depends on whether it has been custom and practice. The fact that the same rule has been applied to others is the critical element, not whether or not you were sick.

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I am a barrister specialising in employment law, and only represent employees. My advice on employment issues is advice - not legal opinion - and is based only on the facts you provide. If you want an accurate assessment of your case and prospects, you should get legal opinion from a lawyer - not a public forum. Anything I tell you is for guidance only, and is based on my experience of the law in the context of what details you provide.

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I have just been speaking with an employment-law specialist and he says that if they are using the implied route then it has to have been consistant for years & years. But even so they would have trouble legally making me work it. There is only 1 person, in the whole company who they have made do this. However they could take by money back for the Saturday but only the o/time rate part which would be equal to 2.5hrs pay.

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To look at this from a different argument and not specifically from the "implied" angle.

 

This will depend on how much your willing to challenge your employer. You could raise a grievance stating you believe the information you have been given is incorrect. (or possible simply write to them querying it to be more neutral and less confrontational) I do smell a rat if your unaware of this practice and did not state if the HR response was verbal or in writing.

 

I would test the water myself but being at constant odds with your employer may not be something you want, If they are trying it on i expect them to back off quickly (depending on size of employer)

 

A condition like this i'd expect to be clear in a policy not implied but that's only my opinion. I'd also argue under this requirement if you were off sick long term how could you possibly work it back, It's kind of the opposite of the recent stringer and pereda ruling on sickness.

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They say if you are off long-term sick then it doesn't count - none of this is in the handbook/contract. The HR response (only 1 woman in dept, married to a Director!) was to my boss and via email. She is nuts and when she finds out you have been speaking to ACAS goes absolutely mad! "I can't have staff speaking to ACAS".

The request to work was from by boss - he thinks its odd, but has no say in the matter as apparently the Director (not the one married to HR!) says this is how it is. I am fed up with them bullying me to be honest so am willing to go all the way if ness. If i was working the Saturday so as to swap with whoever covered for me (not the case - see post 8) thats fine but cannot understand why I cannot make the time up during the week.

 

Thanks for the replies

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  • 8 months later...

if you were signed off sick, thats certified by your doc, there is not a chance in hell your employer can ask you to make time up for being sick, no way, you need to put a grievance in and dont let them push you around

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I agree with the cover issue however I work Saturdays with someone else so nobody had to cover for me - if they had I would obviously make it up for them in return. But I was signed off sick - I have a sick note to prove it.

 

If you are covered by a sick note they have to get someone else to cover your Saturday on overtime or whatever.

 

The Saturday is therefore done and dusted and there should be nothing to "make up".

 

They are treating sickness absence as a "shift swap" and I think they are in error.

 

If they asked someone else to work on that Saturday and told them that you would do their's that is a "shift swap" which they cannot arrange for you. They are confused methinks.

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your employer is trying to pull the wool over your eyes, be careful and get the grievance in - you were signed off sick remember!

Based on experience Stuart, I would never again advise anyone to put in a formal grievance, unless they really had nothing to lose. Keeping complaints informal is definitely less risky.

 

I would contact the HR and union (if there is one) and get them to look up the regulations.

 

Managers often do not really know the rules and so try to make something up that suits their needs.

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Marieleeza, why do you advise against not putting in a grievance in, its common sense your employer, manager, team leader or whatever will be might p'ed off if the grievance is against them, so are you just meant to take all the BS your given in fear of losing your job in you put the grievance in?

 

if someone put in a grievance and later down the line they lost their job, they could take it to employment tribunal, you got to be hard as nails now, dont take any bs from your employer and dont brown nose them, they can sack you even if your the brown noser of the year, your just a number, so get that grievance in and screw them legally

 

Based on experience Stuart, I would never again advise anyone to put in a formal grievance, unless they really had nothing to lose. Keeping complaints informal is definitely less risky.

 

I would contact the HR and union (if there is one) and get them to look up the regulations.

 

Managers often do not really know the rules and so try to make something up that suits their needs.

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Marieleeza, why do you advise against not putting in a grievance in, its common sense your employer, manager, team leader or whatever will be might p'ed off if the grievance is against them, so are you just meant to take all the BS your given in fear of losing your job in you put the grievance in?

 

if someone put in a grievance and later down the line they lost their job, they could take it to employment tribunal, you got to be hard as nails now, dont take any bs from your employer and dont brown nose them, they can sack you even if your the brown noser of the year, your just a number, so get that grievance in and screw them legally

 

It is even worse than you imply Stuart. Any sort of formal complaint and they will take revenge. Employment Tribunal is an unrealistic option in the vast majority of cases.

 

On the otherhand, I would agree that being totally assertive or a complete toady are the 2 best workplace strategies. Anything in between is too subtle to be understood by the thicksters in management.

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