Pulling a 'sickie'

When it is cold and dark it may well be tempting to stay curled up under your duvet and ‘pull a sickie.’

If you are an employee considering calling in sick, or an employer dealing with this issue, it is important to understand the potential consequences and your sickness rights at work. 

If an employee makes up or exaggerates an illness or injury in order to pull a sickie, they can be dismissed by their employer for misconduct. This is because it breaches an implied term of their employment contract called mutual trust and confidence. An employer will usually be able to fairly dismiss an employee if there were reasonable grounds for belief in the misconduct, following a reasonable investigation, and the misconduct in question was sufficiently serious to merit dismissal. 

Employees may take a sick day for a genuine reason and in some cases, there is added employment protection for such employees. For example, where their mental and or physical condition amounts to a legal disability, relates to a pregnancy, an accident at work or is due to the unreasonable conduct of their employer.

Employees should note that there are very short time limits that apply to employment claims, in most cases three months, so they should not delay in seeking advice.

On the other hand, some employers are left with malingering employees either constantly pulling sickies or on long-term sick leave, which can have a crippling effect on their business.

If employers do not follow a fair process they could find themselves pulled into lengthy and sometimes costly employment tribunal litigation.

We offer a fixed fee initial consultation meetings where you can discuss your work issues in a supportive environment and receive the advice you need to help you protect your rights and resolve any work-related issues. 

If you have been taking sick days for genuine reasons and feel that you have been treated unfairly or if you are concerned about a member of your staff taking sick days you can contact or Gill Brown on 01256 854605 or email gill.brown@phillips-law.co.uk