Sick leave is a complex and difficult area in human resources. It is fraught with potential pitfalls for small businesses and the consequences can be very expensive.
So, let’s see if we can dismiss some of the myths that surround this topic.
Q: Do I have to allow an individual to reschedule holiday due to sickness?
A: Yes, you should allow the rescheduling of holiday.
The ECJ (Pereda v Madrid Movilidad SA) dictated that where an individual’s pre-arranged statutory holiday coincides with a period of sick leave, the ‘Equal Treatment Directive’ requires that the individual should be given the opportunity to take leave at another time.
However, a good Absence Policy is essential to prevent abuse. For example, individuals are only entitled to statutory sick pay if they turn holiday into sick leave; ensuring individuals report sickness to their manager and requiring medical evidence for longer absences; recording and monitoring sickness absence; and only paying sick pay if the individual is unfit to do the job – the fact that a worker cannot “enjoy” their holiday need not be treated as sick leave.
If you are ever unsure – seek further advice.