Law

How to Get Legal Help When You Get Sick on the Job

You have the right to call in sick if you are unwell as a worker. Statutory sick pay is a benefit to which you may be entitled even if your employer does not pay you for time off due to illness. If you’re eligible for more money from the company, your contract will outline it.

How Much Time Off Do I Have for Illness?

Illness-related absences from work are acceptable. If you’re sick for less than a week, you can report your absence to your employer. Your employer should provide the preferred method of communication.

If it lasts longer than a week, you’ll need to visit a doctor and get a sick note to prove that you’re medically unable to work. A letter from a certified health professional, such as an occupational therapist or a physiotherapist, may also be acceptable to your employer.

The note will either say if you are fit or work, depending on the doctor’s assessment. If it states you are fit, your employer must discuss reasonable accommodations that might allow you to return to work. Doing so may necessitate a shift in your current responsibilities or how you approach your work.

Can My Employer Terminate My Employment Contract?

Your employer can terminate your employment contract while you are out sick, but only if they follow the proper procedures and provide evidence that the termination is fair and just. They will have to exhaust all other avenues, such as redefining your function or giving you different hours, before firing you.

You should consult a lawyer if you fear your employer is considering firing you due to your health. If the company dismisses you due to your condition and fails to treat you fairly, you may have grounds for legal action. Kentucky Mesothelioma law firm is among the legal firms you may approach for legal representation due to work-related medical conditions such as mesothelioma and asbestos.

Can I Be Denied Sick Time?

The law acknowledges sick leave, so your employer cannot deny it. On the other hand, you may violate the provisions of your job contract if you don’t disclose your condition as requested. There may be repercussions for you in the form of disciplinary action if this continues.

Two distinct forms of sick pay exist:

  • 1. The legally mandated bare minimum of sick pay is “Statutory Sick Pay.” Its payouts are limited to a total of 28 weeks annually.
  • 2. Sick pay from the company, often called contractual sick pay, is any additional pay your employer may provide, as detailed in your employment agreement.

With a long-term illness, you may be eligible for Employment and Support Allowance from the state to help you make ends meet after your sick pay ends.

Pregnancy-Related Sick Leave

An employer uses an employee’s average weekly earnings in the eight weeks before maternity when calculating their statutory maternity pay. Therefore, receiving statutory sick pay while pregnant could reduce the amount you receive in the form of statutory maternity pay.

You are eligible for statutory sick pay if you cannot work due to a pregnancy-related illness until the fourth week before you are due. You’ll transition to maternity leave and start receiving maternity pay.

Suppose your illness is not attributable to pregnancy. In that case, you are eligible for sick pay in the usual manner until a week before the due date or the day on which you have requested to start receiving your maternity pay.

You shouldn’t have to settle for worse service just because you’re pregnant. Pregnant women who face workplace discrimination can pursue legal action against their employers.

Absence from work due to illness should not affect your yearly leave entitlement unless the absence is exceptionally protracted. An employer cannot use a worker’s health status as a bar to benefits like maternity leave or other protections guaranteed.

Conclusion

You may be eligible to file a claim for compensation for several reasons. They include if you believe you have been victimized because of an illness, if your employer has used your condition to remove you from your position, or if you have not received your entitled sick pay.

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