Taking time off work can be difficult and stressful. By understanding the sickness policy your employer has in place (if applicable), how to manage your condition well and where to turn to for help and support, you can overcome the barriers stopping you from returning to work.
Your rights when off work
Knowing what protected rights you have as an employee can help you if you need to take time off work because of your health.
If you’re off work because of ill health or an injury, it’s important to know what sick pay you are entitled to, and for how long.
The fit note
Introduced in April 2010 to replace the sick note, the fit note gives evidence of your fitness to work. You only require a fit note if you are absent from work for more than seven days (including weekends), otherwise you can self-certify your sick leave.
Keeping in contact with work
Talking openly and honestly to your employer about your health is just as important when you’re off work as it is when you’re at work. Your employer needs to understand how you’re feeling and how it is affecting you so you can get the support your need to get back to work as soon as possible.
Causes of absence
There can be many causes of workplace absence. Some people struggle with long term health problems, while others find it difficult to balance their work and care commitments. Understanding how to look after yourself, and who to turn to for support, can be the difference between a long absence and a short one.