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OT ish - Going on holiday while off sick

Does anyone know if your employer can do anything about it?

I'm currently off sick as I'm struggling with my back and can't sit at my desk without being in pain, I wasn't sleeping at night due to the pain and was exhausted :-(  I'm due back next week and have 2 shifts before I'm off on annual leave. If I was to get another sick line though could work try and tell me I can't go away?

I have emailed HR to ask them the procedure but am being impatient waiting on a reply Smile

I was going to go back for the 2 days to save any hassle but my worry is then that if I'm struggling again once I'm back and have to go off sick again, I'll lose 3 days wages before I go onto sick pay


  • VERY dodgy ground IMO.

    Are they doing anything to get you a new chair so that your back doesn't hurt?

    I'd just be taking the two days as AL or unpaid if you don't have any AL if you really can't go into work.

  • I've just checked this with my H. Are you on full sick pay or just SSP?

    If SSP, going away whilst on SSP could be considered as tax/benefit fraud.

    Not meaning to scare you, but I just think it really isn't worth the risk...

    Hope your HR come back to you soon.

  • You can do what you want as far as I know. You are off sick from work not life. We have had people do it at my place and although it is frowned upon I don't think there is anything they can do

  • Nah they are useless Rusty, not even done a risk assessment since I was 12 weeks even though I told them it said in the handbook it should be every 4 weeks

    I'm thinking I'll probably just go back, saves any issues. Although I'm sure I did read somewhere that if you go off sick again for the same reason as a previous issue I should go straight onto sick pay, rather than losing 3 days wages again. If that is the case then I can go back for the 2 days knowing that it isn't a big deal if I need to go off again when I go back

  • Ally
    Nah they are useless Rusty, not even done a risk assessment since I was 12 weeks even though I told them it said in the handbook it should be every 4 weeks

    In that case, I'd say you're not going back until the chair is sorted. Raise this with HR. They are meant to do everything possible to make it comfortable for you. When Hepburn was suffering with SPD for example, she was offered to move to a desk downstairs so that she didn't have to walk up stairs to her usual office. 

    Do you have a Swiss ball you can sit on? They are great for sitting on at a desk. 

  • I'm not sure Rusty, AFAIK once I've been off for the 1st 3 days I'm on full pay

    Little Pixie - that's kind of what I'm thinking, will await HR's response. My mum reckons they'd be stupid to do anything since my boss was the one who sat and said 'I think 4 weekly risk assessments is OTT, we won't be doing that' . Doubt that would go down well with HR lol

  • Not heard of Swiss ball, off to google :-)

  • Ah is it just like a gym ball?

  • Yep, they're the ones.

  • There was recently a case of a man from S. Wales who went on holiday while off with stress. Albeit it was to Australia  (where he ended up on the Australian news for wrestling a shark), but he was sacked on his return. I have to say the radio interview of I heard with this man on was pretty funny, I mean, talk about bad luck!

    Anyway, I'd be very careful. When my mother, in Wales, was off sick a few years ago, she wouldn't even come to visit me, in England, in case she got into trouble for it. If you're off with a bad back they could claim that you shouldn't be able to sit in a car for any length of time if you're using not sitting at your desk as your reason for sick leave.

  • Lol LWO, that is bad luck for the guy

    Think the easiest option is just to go back - and tell them I'll be taking plenty of breaks from my desk :-)

  • This is worth a look at and supports my view. If it's not in your contract then why can't you? If you were off with stress then it might be best to get away so surely they cant discriminate if you have another type of illness

  • Thanks LP, makes sense. Will update when HR respond :-)

  • Just found this re sick pay which I think means that if I go back next week for the 2 days but then go off sick again when I return that they have to pay me SSP from day 1 of being off.  Makes it an easier decision cos if I really struggle next week, I know it's only for 2 days max!

    You will not get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for the first three days that you can't work, unless you were getting it within the last eight weeks. If you were off sick and getting SSP within the last eight weeks, you will get it again from your first day off work without having to wait for three days.

  • I think it is best practice to let your employer know if you plan to go on holiday whilst off sick - that is certainly what I have done, and they have agreed with me that the holiday will probably be beneficial to me.

    It is slightly different for us though as generally we are using staff travel benefits which specifically say that you must not use them whilst off sick without a managers permission, therefore generally whether you are or not using staff travel when you go away the norm is to let them know.

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