How often is too often to be off sick

In many cases, an offer of a Settlement Agreement can be related to an employee leaving a business due to ill health, generally for a case of long-term sickness absence. However, there are other considerations both for employees and employers relating to sickness absence, particularly when the absence is short term and frequent.

We all know that it is unavoidable that you may sometimes be off sick from work. There are certainly times that employees should not come into work but how many periods of absence are too many? In 2012 the average absence rates of employees was 2.9% of working time in the private sector and 3.3% in the public sector. This equates to 6.6 days per employee for the private sector and over 7 days in the public sector. If you think about how much that costs for a business, it’s no wonder that employers are generally very careful to closely monitor the amount of time off employees take per year.

Where an employer becomes concerned with the level of short term sickness absence of a particular employee, they may be entitled to investigate the matter under their sickness absence policy. This could lead to sanctions against the employee up to and including dismissal.

Therefore, always consider whether or not to call in sick as, should you be seen to be taken advantage of the system, you could end up in hot water with little chance of any form of settlement for the loss of a job.

If you have been offered the option of a settlement agreement following a period of long term sick and/or short term absence and you require any assistance, do not hesitate to contact us.

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