Holiday Sickness & Leave

If you need help from our expert employment solicitors on any issue relating to holiday sickness & leave – please reach out.  Meantime, we hope you found the articles below helpful.





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Holiday Sickness & Leave FAQs

There are lots of reasons why you might take time off work, including holiday, sickness, maternity/paternity/adoption or other family related leave, bereavement, extreme weather, transport problems, and so on.

All employees and workers are entitled to at least 5.6 weeks’ paid holiday in the UK, including bank holidays, though some employers will give more. The actual number of days’ or hours’ paid holiday you’re entitled to each year will depend on how many days or hours you work each week. It can be complicated to calculate holiday entitlement for people who work irregular hours/days.

Coughs and colds, stomach upsets, headaches and migraines tend to be the most common causes of the odd day off sick. This is a different type of absence to longer term sickness absence and should be dealt with differently.

Mental ill-health, such as stress, depression or anxiety, along with musculoskeletal conditions are common causes of long term sickness absence. There isn’t a set period above which absence counts as “long term,” and different organisations will have a different meaning of “long term”. However, the type of conditions that tend to lead to longer absences generally need a period of treatment and building back up to a return to work. They can also lead to potential disability discrimination issues, including a need to make reasonable adjustments to the working environment.

Yes, if you don’t give enough notice, or if there isn’t enough cover to do the work while you’re proposing to be off, or if you don’t have enough holiday left.

Employers should ensure that they publish an absence management policy setting out what everyone has to do when someone is off sick, or suffers a bereavement, or needs time off for any reason. The policy should cover how to report absence, the different categories and when to use them, what you’ll be paid while absent, and what happens if you need a long time off work.

This includes maternity, paternity and adoption leave, parental leave, shared parental leave, unpaid time off in an emergency involving a dependant, compassionate leave, parental bereavement leave, leave following the loss of a baby or miscarriage, and so on. See here for more information.

If your workplace is open but you can’t get there, you might not be paid, though if the workplace is closed, you should still be paid. If you can work from home and your organisation supports flexible or hybrid working, then you should be able to work as normal from home, and be paid. If you can work from another office that you can get to, again, you can work as normal and be paid. Employers should have an extreme weather policy, as well as a policy dealing with transport issues or strike action that prevents staff travelling to the workplace. If schools or childcare settings are closed due to snow, meaning your childcare provision has disappeared, you can take emergency unpaid leave if you are unable to work at home with children around.

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