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When is a Doctors note required?

dodgydaz

Active Member
A work colleague was off work for a whole week just before christmas due to sickness. Now in that week he had already booked the Friday off as holiday. When he returned the following Monday, he was told that he would either have to keep the Friday as a holiday or if he wanted his holiday back, he would need to provide a doctors note as he was off for more than 7 days.

Now, looking on various sites, it does explain that a note is required if off for 7 days - including days not usually worked - ie weekends.

He said that he felt ill from Sunday but had recovered by Friday evening (convenient I know).

Now where does he stand on this?

He wants to get his holiday back basically as he says that he was not ill for 7 days. However he was technically off work for 9 days - including two weekends but he was only ill from the Sunday.

Any ideas?
 

ian494

Active Member
1st day of illness starts when he notifies work.

Last day of illness is the day prior to resuming (whether or not this is a workday)
 

dodgydaz

Active Member
1st day of illness starts when he notifies work.

Last day of illness is the day prior to resuming (whether or not this is a workday)

So if he rings on the Monday, has the rest of the working week off sick, and then returns to work the following Monday, he does not need a sick note?

He had 5 days off work - Monday to Friday, but the last day of that week, he had already taken as a holiday. So is he entitled to his holiday back? It suggests that he is.
 

Kebabhead

Distinguished Member
So if he rings on the Monday, has the rest of the working week off sick, and then returns to work the following Monday, he does not need a sick note?

Yes

Monday-Sunday is 7 days if you count Monday as day one

If Sunday was a holiday it won't count as you can't take sick leave as a holiday
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
If he only missed 5 work days he doesn't need & won't get a note from a Doctor as far as I know. Anything more than 5 days then a doctors note is required. I've always been told you can sign yourself off for up to 5 days.

However, it's catch 22. Half the time a flu type illness won't involve seeing a doctor, you'll just hang low until it's died down a bit. So no chance of a doctors note there. Or you get ill, miss say 6-7 days of work, go to the doctors towards the end of this period & he'll write you off for the following week you don't need/want off. A doctor can only sign you off for a period starting the day they've seen you. So you simply can't win!

The trick is to have an appointment booked with your GA for every Monday morning at 8am, just incase you need it. :rolleyes:
 

everett_psycho

Distinguished Member
So if he rings on the Monday, has the rest of the working week off sick, and then returns to work the following Monday, he does not need a sick note?

i thought he did, i was off from a tuesday and came back the next tuesday and had to have one here, he has had a full week off if the friday is ill and not holiday, if he takes it as holiday he has only really had 4 days off so will not need a note, bad timing really on his part
 

shilv

Active Member
From DirectGov:

Your employer cannot ask you to provide evidence that your are sick for the first seven days of illness.

The employee should be able to self-certify for that period - if the absence was for 8 days or more then a doctor's note would be required.
 

Kebabhead

Distinguished Member
From DirectGov:



The employee should be able to self-certify for that period - if the absence was for 8 days or more then a doctor's note would be required.

Says that here

If you’re off work sick for seven days or less, your employer should not ask you for a sick note from your GP.

But then says

Some employers may request a sick note, for example, from employees who repeatedly take time off sick, even if each time they’re off work, it’s for seven days or less.
 

Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
We are asked to proved evidence from a doctor after 2 consecutive days off work.
 

everett_psycho

Distinguished Member
Some employers may request a sick note, for example, from employees who repeatedly take time off sick, even if each time they’re off work, it’s for seven days or less.

this may be why i had to have one then, stupid temprement of glandular fever making me take sporadic days off and getting on my bosses nerves
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
We are asked to proved evidence from a doctor after 2 consecutive days off work.

If your doctor's surgery is anything like the ones around here, challenge your boss to book an appointment inside the same calender month before he asked something as ridiculous as ^^that^^
 

everett_psycho

Distinguished Member
If your doctor's surgery is anything like the ones around here, challenge your boss to book an appointment inside the same calender month before he asked something as ridiculous as ^^that^^

are yours still that bad? Ours got a kick about it and now if you call in the morning and say i NEED a doctor for any half decent reason you get a phone consultation and then usually seen that day or the next morning :clap:

before their kick you used to have to book being ill with the doctor 3 weeks in advance so work didn't moan you had no certificate
 

unique

Moderator
i know the situation that has occurred. let me try and break this down

for SSP, for the first week (which is a seven day period starting the day you are sick, ie. Tuesday to Monday for example) you don't have to provide a medical cert to be paid SSP, although SSP rules say you have 3 waiting days, so you would only be paid for 2 days if you work a 5 day week. after a week, to receive SSP your employer can insist on a medical cert/doctors line

for anything paid above SSP, such as contractual sickpay, the employer can use any reasonable rules they want. most employers will accept a self cert for the first week, but want a medical cert for a period longer than a week


the issue here relates to someone who was sick during a period that they had requested as paid annual leave. the employers rules appear to be that they are willing to allow that day as a sick day and pay sick pay, and the employee will be entitled to take the day at a later time from annual leave, but as part of that procedure they require the employee to provide a medical cert as evidence of illness before they do so

strictly speaking there is no real law that requires an employer to give holidays back if an employee was sick during holidays, but many employers will do so contractually, but only if the employee provides a medical cert as confirmation that the employee was sick, they won't accept a self cert form as it would then be too easy for staff to take a weeks holiday and come back and say they were sick and sign a self cert form and get the holiday entitlement back. there is case law that backs this up, as an employee challenged an employer that she should have been paid sickpay when she was sick and wasn't able to go on holiday

so if the employee provides a medical cert the employer will give him a days holiday back, if not he won't get it. it's up to him to arrange the medical cert, however as it relates to just one day, and about a month ago, he's probably best to forget about it
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
are yours still that bad? Ours got a kick about it and now if you call in the morning and say i NEED a doctor for any half decent reason you get a phone consultation and then usually seen that day or the next morning :clap:

before their kick you used to have to book being ill with the doctor 3 weeks in advance so work didn't moan you had no certificate

To be honest, my one is OK. If you call up for an appointment there aren't any available for weeks. So you just tell them you absolutely need to see someone today & you're issued with an emergency appointment between the hours of 11-1 (I think). However, you'll be sitting there for way over an hour waiting to actually see them.

My wife's doctors sounds like yours, however I don't see the point in the phone consultation - they can't do anything for you over the phone so end up seeing you anyway - just far later than you wanted. Seems overkill to me.


After reading unique's post above I think the OP's employees are actually being quite reasonable on this issue. Personally I would've cancelled any planned holiday earlier that week, although they'd probably question that anyway
 

homer timpson

Well-known Member
That is for SSP. If your employer pays you full pay from day 1 then it would be within their right to request evidence.
I must have a decent employer :)

Full pay from day 1 - and our rules are Self Cert for 1st week.

I haven't tested it yet to be fair - 'aint been off sick in 8 years :( or :) ??

Homer
 

Liquid101

Distinguished Member
We are asked to proved evidence from a doctor after 2 consecutive days off work.

I'm pretty sure they can't do that, and as others have said, a doctor won't touch it unless it's a week off. So in effect, your employer is encouraging you to take a full week off rather than 3 days. EDIT: reading Uniques very informative post - maybe they can then.

Where I work, in my capacity as a line manager, every time somebody is off work I have to hold a 'back to work' interview them when they return. The whole thing is documented and a form filed. The whole process can be rather embarrassing for all concerned as I have to ask them about their condition, if they're feeling better and if it's likely to happen again. I have to reinforce the importance of regular attendance, discuss any changes that may help them and recommend any further action.

Gets a bit tiresome, I can tell you.
 
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Solomon Grundy

Distinguished Member
Even if you are off for one day here you have to fill out a form stating why you were ill, what was wrong with you, what medication you took and what you did to recover. Then when you get back to work you have a meeting with your immediate manager (in my case that's the owner of the company) with the form who then signs it off and gives it to the personnel manager to put on your file.

So you can imagine how embarrassing it is sometimes having a "return to work" interview about taking a day off because you had the trots!
 

unique

Moderator
Even if you are off for one day here you have to fill out a form stating why you were ill, what was wrong with you, what medication you took and what you did to recover. Then when you get back to work you have a meeting with your immediate manager (in my case that's the owner of the company) with the form who then signs it off and gives it to the personnel manager to put on your file.

So you can imagine how embarrassing it is sometimes having a "return to work" interview about taking a day off because you had the trots!

that's one of the most common excuses on one day sicklines, sickness and diarrhoea. it's basically employee jargon for "hangover" or CBA (can't be arsed going to work)

the back to work form and meeting is good practice, as an employer has a duty of care towards employees, so it ensures someone is is genuinely ill isn't left to do work that may harm their health or slow the recovery. it also helps keep tabs of frequent absenteeism and those who take advantage of the system. by having the scheme alone it reduces absence as staff who pull sickies don't like having to face lying the next day at work and it shows they are more under the spotlight and can't just sneak back to work after a monday or friday off and a long weekend, and not have to say a word

the system of giving back holidays when staff are sick during annual leave is a newer one for most employers. they are usually fine if someone is genuinely ill and a doctors confirms it, but won't take an employees word for obvious reasons. if someone really is that sick that they can't use their holidays then it would be reasonable for them to expect to see a doctor, and they can then get a sickline. doctors don't usually like giving sicklines for absences of less than a week, but if you explain the requirement for one they will usually provide one, although in some cases you may have to pay, but it's better than no pay
 

overkill

Distinguished Member
The first seven days are covered by self cert. The first three days are waiting days and it's up to the employer of they pay you for those or not. SSP must be paid for the next two working days.

An employer can request a Dr's certificate for the Self cert days. If they have reasonable belief that the employee is not actually 'sick'. However, the only way any employer can justify that is if the employee either a) has a poor sick record or b) they are acting under reasonable belief that an employee is feigning illness. An employee is oblidged to pay for a Medical cert in the self cert period if it is required by the employer.

Hence an employer needs to think carefully before requiring one in the first seven days. An employee could claim (and raise a Grievance on that basis) that the employer has not been 'fair and reasonable'.

From day 8 (or after 5th working day) the employee is required to supply a Medical certificate for ALL days taken as sick. If not, the employer are within their rights to disicpline under 'Unauthorised Abscence'.

You are also required by many comapnies under their T&C's to inform them every day why you are not in during that first week.

If an employer pays over and above SSP, this is a contractual right only, and they can ask for whatever is bulit into their T&C's to cover that. If there is nothing in their T&C's that says you must have Dr's cert from day one, they could be in breach of contract if they take disciplinary action. However, if a Medical cert is required in the T&C's from day one to cover contractual sick pay, you will have to sump up.
 

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