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Help! Time off and pay issues


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Need help quickly if anyone knows the answer

An employee at my place of work has had 18 separate days off sick in the last 9 months and her pay has not been deducted.

The employer has said he will now deduct 3 days each month from her pay until it is paid back because she is not entitled to pay whilst being off work.

There is no written contract just a verbal contract.

The situation never arose before because time off never exceeded 5 or 6 days on average annually and the employer paid these however grudgingly.

I think he is making a stand because he feels his generosity in the past is being exploited.

We do have 20 days holiday plus bank holidays paid time off.

Is the employer breaking any laws? can he demand the money back?

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No, the employer is within their rights not to pay but should not be doing it retorspectively and should in advance notify every one of any changes to the original T & Cs that you signed when taking up employment. SSP can be claimed for 5 days or more if they are continuous.

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If he isd really an employer, then the requirement for a written Contract of Employment is a legal requirement, and I understand they can be fined for not providing one. He's really skating on thin ice!

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If he isd really an employer, then the requirement for a written Contract of Employment is a legal requirement, and I understand they can be fined for not providing one. He's really skating on thin ice!

 

Buzby is absolutely correct - although a 'contract' itself doesn't have to be written, by law the employer must provide a written 'Statement of Particulars' within two months of commencement. This must outline such details as (amongst others) the employer's name, employees details, job title, date of commencement of service, remuneration, sickness and holiday pay entitlement, hours of work and notice entitlements. As an absolute minimum your colleague should have a personalised schedule of hours to be worked and pay rates for those hours, and a general list of terms (such as a Company Handbook) which apply to all employees for the finer details of sick pay, disciplinary procedures, holiday entitlements etc.

 

I suggest that your colleague rethinks whether she received any paperwork such as the above when she joined (or whether there is a Handbook made available to all staff) even if she doesn't actually have a document headed 'Contract' and looks at the terms relating to paid sick leave. If she genuinely has no idea of the terms under which she is employed, she should ask HR or her line manager to obtain a copy of what is held on her personnel file. If that fails she should seek free advice from ACAS on 08457 47 47 47 - they are probably the best free resource for all matters relating to employment law.

 

As far as I can recall, if it was either a contractual right or merely 'custom and practice' in the absence of a contract for sickness absence to be paid in the past, and the employer has changed this without negotiation or notice, then he is in breach of contract, even if the contract term was only implied through past actions.

Any advice given is done so on the assumption that recipients will also take professional advice where appropriate.

 

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The employer has a right not to pay you. However they do need to make you aware asap (I.e The next day you are back at work) He can also turn round and say any further sickness will be unpaid. But he should really be putting this in writing and having both signed to acknowledge the conversation took place.

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