Managing sick leave and return to work

Someone's ability to do their job can be affected by health conditions, whether or not they are caused by work.

Several laws are relevant when managing sick leave and return to work. These include the Equality Act, the Employment Rights Act and the Health and Safety at Work etc Act.

Employers should have policies and procedures on managing sick leave. You should develop these in consultation with workers and their representatives. 

You should also:

  • record and monitor sick leave to help you identify trends and manage risk
  • train your managers how to manage sick leave and return to work
  • keep in contact with workers who are off sick, ensuring the conversation remains focused on their health, safety and wellbeing and their return to work
  • consider making workplace adjustments to help workers return to work. This could include shorter hours, flexible or part-time working, or adapting work equipment
  • review your health and safety risk assessment where:
    • a worker's health condition makes them or others more vulnerable to workplace risks
    • the impact of the workplace adjustments could affect the work and health of others
  • get professional advice on issues such as fitness to work or workplace adjustments, for example from:
    • occupational health providers
    • nurses
    • occupational therapists
    • pharmacists
    • physiotherapists
    • doctors

Is this page useful?