Long Term Sick

The management of long term sickness normally requires a more sensitive approach.  Every case will be different and a number of factors need to be weighed up before coming to a decision on how to proceed. These include:

  • The length of the employee’s employment and their attendance record prior to their present illness
  • The nature of the employee’s job and their position within the company
  • The effect of the employee’s continuous absence on the business and the need to engage a replacement
  • The nature and duration of the illness and the prospects for recovery
  • The employee’s terms and conditions in relation to occupational or statutory sickness pay

What is essential is that the manager remains in contact with the absent employee. 

Where an employee has been absent through illness or injury for several weeks, and where the nature of the problem is such that a return to work within the period of sick pay entitlement is in doubt, a medical review should be completed.  This should look to ascertain the nature of the illness, the likely length of absence and whether or not the company can provide any assistance/advice, which may either assist with recovery or help alleviate a specific problem.

It is important to consider each case individually and to ensure the employee is regularly consulted on their progress and the effects and ramifications of the anticipated date of return to work.