When can the employer ask for proof of sickness if an employee calls in sick?
A request for proof of sickness under the Holidays Act 2003 is not a compulsory requirement. It should only be used when the employer believes an employee is not genuinely sick for the period of absence. Therefore if the employer believes the employee was genuinely sick for the period, then they should be paying the employee.
However, if an employer doubts the validity of the absence, then an employer has the right to request proof of sickness if the sickness is for a period of 3 or more consecutive calendar days. When this request is made, the employer should be making clear to the employee the potential consequences of not producing this proof, which could be non payment of sick leave. Unlike the situation where proof of illness is requested for a period of sickness that is within 3 consecutive calendar days, the employee would have to pay for the cost of providing the proof of illness.
It is important to note that the above requirements only apply to the minimum 5 days sick leave per year provided for in that Act. Any sick leave allowance greater than the minimum 5 days will be a strictly contractual issue and subject to any conditions that the employer and employee may agree on.
Click here for information on proof of sickness requirements for periods less than 3 calendar days.
Date Modified: Tuesday, 29 May 2012
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