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Can you go on holiday when on the sick?
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Old 16-07-2003, 08:32   #1
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Can you go on holiday when on the sick?

A colleague was signed off on the sick with an ear infection that gave him lots of problems.
During that time his wife booked a last minute holiday for a week which he also went on.

Is there a legal requirement for him to take the holiday days as holiday or will he be able to claim sickness throughout the period and keep his holiday entitlement?

Does anyone know the legal answer to this & can you back it up with specific references.

Cheers, Zoombini.
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Old 16-07-2003, 09:02   #2
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Some good companies will give you sick days if you're ill while on holiday.
As he's been signed off, I believe it would be illegal for him to work (he'd not be covered by his company's insurance)
Can't see too much of a problem taking a holiday while legitimately off sick (why even tell the company?)
The question might be, if he's got earache, how safe is it for him to fly?

If the infection is affecting his co-ordination, and he does a manual job etc, then I can't see any difference between him lying on the sofa at home or lying on a sunlounger abroad. Might actually help him recover quicker.
Also, most companies have insurance to cover sick pay, so it would probably be more financially benificial to let him have the time as sick
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Old 16-07-2003, 09:04   #3
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Unfortunately he told them (prat!).
The flight was no problem and the holiday even helped his ear problem go away.

Unfortunately now the company are instisting he takes the holiday time as part of his holiday entitlement & I am trying to find the legal mumbo jumbo that eitther says they CAN do that or CANNOT.
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Old 16-07-2003, 10:01   #4
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Does anyone know any online sites taht you can ask a legal bod for free?
I can only find ones where you have to pay oodles to ask a simple question.
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Old 16-07-2003, 10:37   #5
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Why not try Acas, I once did and they were able to tell me over the phone where I stood The link to there page is here and has the national phone number as well as more links.

Just as a matter of fact, at my old place of work one of the guys to ill on holiday and came back to work and changed his holidays to sick days ( twice )

I on the other hand went to France for the day when on the sick and got slated for it, so maybe it's the timing, I dont know but give Acas a call as I said.

Good luck
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Old 16-07-2003, 10:45   #6
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I would guess that it depend on the persons contract, there will be some accepted guidlines but it could differ from case to case.

I have emailed my daughter ( trainee solicitor ) at Gandalf - Removed Under request from poster a large national law firm with your query. Will let you know her reply, unless you find something concrete before then
Jim.
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Old 16-07-2003, 10:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoombini
Unfortunately he told them (prat!).
The flight was no problem and the holiday even helped his ear problem go away.

Unfortunately now the company are instisting he takes the holiday time as part of his holiday entitlement & I am trying to find the legal mumbo jumbo that eitther says they CAN do that or CANNOT.
I am (reasonably) confident that if he was officially signed off sick, the company would be breaking all kinds of laws by insisting those days be docked from his holiday entitlement.

Think of it this way - once the doctor says he should not work, he is under the care of the doctor. It's up to the doc to say what is acceptable and what is not. The company is not medically competent to dictate what is acceptable behaviour for a recuperating employee. They would have the right to have your friend examined by their own company doctor but there would be little point in that now, seeing as he has recovered.

It seems the company is upset because your friend has actually taken a foreign holiday while off sick. They are drawing an artificial distinction between being signed off work and sitting in front of the TV and being signed off work and sitting on a beach.

He needs to press the issue, and if they continue to be difficult he must ask them to explain where, in his contract or in law, they derive the authority to take his holiday entitlement from him.
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Old 16-07-2003, 11:18   #8
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Thats what I think, if he is signed off sick, it is upto him & the doctor what he can do during that time.
I.E. if he was signed off sick because he has stress problems and
he was to go fishing ( a stress free enviroment) then there shhould be nothing his employers can do about it. While he is under the docs certificate his time is his to get better in.

He should be able to do anything he wishes providing he does not do enough to qualify as being fit for work, in which case he should consult the doctor with reference to returning to work.
Just because he is "sick" does not automatically mean he has to stay at home.

However, in this case he was not fit, he had an awful time on this paid for holiday that he could not get out of.
He just does not want to lose his holiday entitlment for it.

However, before he gets to fight it, he needs specific acts & law so I look forward to your daughters reply Iadom, thanks.
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Old 16-07-2003, 11:53   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoombini
A colleague was signed off on the sick with an ear infection that gave him lots of problems.
During that time his wife booked a last minute holiday for a week which he also went on.

Is there a legal requirement for him to take the holiday days as holiday or will he be able to claim sickness throughout the period and keep his holiday entitlement?

Does anyone know the legal answer to this & can you back it up with specific references.

Cheers, Zoombini.
Yes you can go on holiday while sick.

This is a good and bad thing.

If he was just off sick for a few days and on full pay during this time then he will be financially in no diferent a position, just a few holidays down.

If he were on long term sick and getting the minimum SSP, then when he went on holiday his eer would be obliged to pay him his holiday pay at normal salaried rates.

Now if he pays his doctor a tenner (or whatever they ask for a private letter) stating that a trip to a hot climate would be beneficial to a speedy recovery of the infection then the eer will probably drop it.
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Old 16-07-2003, 11:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by bopdude


Just as a matter of fact, at my old place of work one of the guys to ill on holiday and came back to work and changed his holidays to sick days ( twice )

I on the other hand went to France for the day when on the sick and got slated for it, so maybe it's the timing, I dont know but give Acas a call as I said.

Good luck
Not wishing to cast aspersions.

The impression that being sick and going on a day trip indicated to your eer that you were not sick but taking a sickie.
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Old 16-07-2003, 11:57   #11
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Was the OPs colleague signed off sick by a doctor or self certified?

If he was on a doctors note then it is sick whatever he was doing. (Caveat - Unless they caught him doing similar work for someone else when it is fraud).
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Old 16-07-2003, 12:42   #12
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He was signed off with a sick note by the doctor.
He did not ask for a sick note, the doctor just gave it to him.

He normally gets full pay when off sick. I have seen nothing relating to this in any company rules or contracts.
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Old 16-07-2003, 12:46   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by SMHarman
Not wishing to cast aspersions.

The impression that being sick and going on a day trip indicated to your eer that you were not sick but taking a sickie.
I was on the sick for a week, had booked tickets for the England \ South Africa rugby match and trip to France way in advance of my " sickie ", and was not going to miss it for anything.

EDIT:- and actually put that question to my employer, " would you have missed the match of the year on your calender ? "

To which he replyed, probably not, but still docked me anyway..lol
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Old 16-07-2003, 12:51   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by zoombini
He was signed off with a sick note by the doctor.
He did not ask for a sick note, the doctor just gave it to him.

He normally gets full pay when off sick. I have seen nothing relating to this in any company rules or contracts.
So if signed off sick the doctor has certified he cannot work during that time.

If the patient then decides a holiday will help his health and the doctor does not advise it is unwise to travel (an ear infection and flying / travelling to somewhere with ianppropriate medical facilities for example) then you can do what you want.

Apart from similar work.

Who is driving this holiday thing his line manager or HR. He should probably go to HR who know the rules and know this is not something they should be doing.
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Old 16-07-2003, 14:32   #15
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Its something Personel have said.

Although thats the very departmetn that make up all sorts of stupid and unfair rules.

We had a stupid one today (albiet not from them), that men wearing sandals must wear socks! We all laughed that one off straight away.
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