25 May 2016
It is an inevitable fact that, from time to time, your employees will have periods of sickness absence (some more than others). Many of these are completely unavoidable and there is nothing the employee can do to prevent them. However, if an employee enjoys playing sports – particularly high risk activities such as skiing – an absence due to a sports injury can be particularly frustrating for an employer.
So… in this kind of situation, is the employer still obligated to pay sick pay when the absence can be said to be ‘self-inflicted’? The answer is dependent upon what is in your contracts of employment.
Where an employee’s contract entitles them to contractual sick pay, your ability to restrict payment depends upon what exclusions you have specified. It is actually possible for such a clause to exclude any payment for absence due to injuries sustained during leisure pursuits. Alternatively, a contractual sick pay clause can state that any payment is at the discretion of the Company. Where this is the case, you must look back at previous cases to ensure you are acting consistently.
Where there is no contractual enhancement to sick pay, the situation is a lot more simple. If the employee would ordinarily receive SSP, they are still entitled to receive it. The actual cause of the incapacity is not relevant.
At Alpha, we have a vast experience in providing bespoke, practical advice on HR and employment law issues. This includes the preparation of contracts of employment that ensure the needs of our clients are met at every stage. We are proud of our commercial outlook and do not sit on the fence. If you would like to have Alpha on your side, please feel free to contact us.
Martin Kaye have provided advice in some highly complex HR matters and they continue to provide our day to day HR advice through their "ALPHA" HR scheme. They offer a very commercial and pragmatic approach and we have always been impressed by the level of service. The members of staff are approachable and easy to deal with.
Eurofilms Extrusion Ltd
Martin Kaye have provided us with employment and HR advice for several years and we have been very pleased with the level of service and quality of advice provided. We have no hesitation in recommending the team to any organisation which wishes to manage its employment related enquiries.
D Wauchope, Company Secretary
McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd
As a large employer of cleaning personnel, we require expert and prompt employment related advice. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" service provides this in a clear and robust manner. We have been extremely impressed with the service and would thoroughly recommend them to any employer requiring expert HR & employment support.
J Conry, Chairman
It is important for us to create a close relationship with our advisors. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" HR service is excellent. It enables us to work closely with our lawyers particularly in the complex area of employment law.
Johnny Hobeika, Operations Manager
Sanita (UK) Ltd
ALPHA is an excellent, reliable, professional service which is an integrated part of our business that we could not do without. This service is part of our structure and provides staff and business with the professional HR Support it requires - Invaluable
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