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can you be sacked for being on the sick

happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 132 Courageous
edited July 18 in Employment and careers
My sister had to shield due to COVID19 and works for a big supermarket. She has health problems. However, when the shielding finished she did not return to work and has been off with stress. She is very worried about COVID19 even though she has had her two jabs. The area that she works in is in the top six for covid cases.

She is seeing a counsillor due to her anxiety of covid and her doctor gives her four weekly sick notes. Although she wants to return to work, she is too scared and is worried that sooner or later she will get sacked due to the amount of time off she has had.

So, i am just wondering, can she be sacked while she is on the sick. Her counsillor hopes to get her back to work in the next couple of months. They have already been a bit nasty with her and have suggested that instead of being on the sick that she goes on a career break for 12 months

Any adivce would be great

Replies

  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi there 

    Simple answer is yes she can be dismissed for levels of absence usually termed as medical dismissal 

    A large company will have a absence policy and medical dismissal process so first suggestion is to get a copy 

    It may be referred to in her handbook 

    The process normally starts with a referral to oh who will recommend future options regarding her employment 

    I would also have a look at acas website for more information 

    Companies cannot be expected to leave positions open indefinitely though this situation is due to covid. 

    Any further questions just ask 
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,484 Disability Gamechanger
    A 12 month career break looks like a good idea.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    janer1967 said:
    Hi there 

    Simple answer is yes she can be dismissed for levels of absence usually termed as medical dismissal 

    A large company will have a absence policy and medical dismissal process so first suggestion is to get a copy 

    It may be referred to in her handbook 

    The process normally starts with a referral to oh who will recommend future options regarding her employment 

    I would also have a look at acas website for more information 

    Companies cannot be expected to leave positions open indefinitely though this situation is due to covid. 

    Any further questions just ask 

    Thank you. We have tried to tell her it is safe to return to work but because she works in a busy supermarket, she is scared
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    I understand that but she can't stay off forever and maybe needs to decide if she will ever return 

    I agree with @woodbine the career break maybe a good option and a generous offer 

    Just check out the condition as they sometimes include conditions like no guarantee of returning to same role or hours 

    Would she be better working in a different environment 
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,484 Disability Gamechanger
    If i'm honest having had 2 jabs and working wearing a mask will in all likelihood mean she will be fully protected, it's a good job that many many thousands of supply chain workers have worked all through the pandemic because had they not we would all have probably starved by now.
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • CressidaCressida Member Posts: 839 Pioneering
    @happyfella a career break sounds like the perfect solution. She will get to keep her job and hopefully things will look a little better next year and she will be able to return to work. It would certainly remove the stress of worrying about losing her job if she were to take up this option. It would give her company the opportunity to advertise the post and cover her position for that year. It sounds like a good company who value their staff rather than just going down the 'medical dismissal' route. 

  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    My sister has now received a letter from the supermarket asking her to attend a formal interview over the phone. She thinks that she will be sacked at the meeting. Her doctor has told her she is not well enough to go to work and two counsillors she is working with has also told her she is not ready to go to work. it does not help that in her areas cases are going right up which scares her.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    It is most likely to discuss her options 

    Unless the letter states that she could be dismissed as a consequence of the meeting then she cannot be dismissed 
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    she wants to go back, but she is being told by her doctors not to go back yet. she loves her job and has only had four weeks off work due to illness over 20 years. She is worried how she will survive if they sack her
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    She will survive but I don't think that is the intention of the meeting 

    You mentioned b4 about a career break so it could be to discuss that 

    Just see what they have to say then take it from there 

    I know it's worrying but she can appeal any decision 



  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    SHe use to be a strong woman but the covid pandemic has changed her. It has turned her from a strong woman to someone very nervous. She is off work due to anxiety and depression because of covid. she loved her job but does not feel ready to go back. she is very nervous, she is like a different person, a shell of the woman she was.
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    I'm sorry to hear that and it must be a strain on you to see the changes in her 

    You are doing a great job supporting her

    There are lots of people out there who have been affected with anxiety throughout the pandemic and finding it hard to resume back to some normality 
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 5,020

    Scope community team

    Is the counselling helping with her anxiety at all @happyfella
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  • cazza6565cazza6565 Member Posts: 44 Connected
    If the career break is a paid break then she should take it but as you highlighted they are being nasty to her then I am unsure if it is or not. 
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    Career breaks are not paid all they are is a person is allowed to take the specified time off and they will be offered to return to a job after the allocated time off 

    They only guarantee a return to work but not necessarily in the same role or hours of work they are offered a job that is vacant and they are able to perform 
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    Is the counselling helping with her anxiety at all @happyfella

    she says it is helping a bit. I have heard lots of people going through what she is going through and the newspapers and tv stations have done items on it. even though she has had two jabs, she is still wiping down stuff three or four times items coming into her house. she works in a supermarket but scared about going back due to being vunerable. i have heard lots of supermarket workers who are vunerable given up their jobs.

    it is a shame because she was a very strong person and now she is scared of things
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,484 Disability Gamechanger
    @happyfella I thought you had said on another thread that she was going to stop work and become your carer? or have i got that wrong?
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
  • janer1967janer1967 Member Posts: 11,201 Disability Gamechanger
    @woodbine this post us about his sister the other 8s referring to his wife 
  • happyfellahappyfella Member Posts: 132 Courageous
    woodbine said:
    @happyfella I thought you had said on another thread that she was going to stop work and become your carer? or have i got that wrong?

    the other thread is about my wife. this is about my sister in law.
  • woodbinewoodbine Community Co-Production Group Posts: 4,484 Disability Gamechanger
    sorry my mistake. B)
    "Putting a child into care, isn't caring for a child" (T.Rhattigan)
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