• Home
  • Resources
  • Leave and Absence
  • What happens if someone comes into work and falls ill within the first hour? Does this count as a day off, or is it an issue that is best considered at the managers discretion?

What happens if someone comes into work and falls ill within the first hour? Does this count as a day off, or is it an issue that is best considered at the managers discretion?

  • Leave and Absence
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

Read our article: 'What happens if someone comes into work and falls ill within the first hour? Does this count as a day off, or is it an issue that is best considered at the managers discretion?'. Contact us today for more information about our Employment Law, Health & Safety, and HR services.

Peninsula also offer a HR documentation service, meaning we'll create bespoke contract and documentation - ensuring compliance at all times.

Peninsula provides total support on any HR or Health & Safety issue you have. From unlimited advice to our full documentation and risk assessment services, we'll ensure compliance at all times, contact us today.

We provide advice and support to companies of all sizes - large (200+ employees), medium (51-200 employees), small (1-49 employees), and start-ups.

Every employer would ideally like a full workforce each day so that optimum performance can be attained, but, every employer also knows that that does not always happen. The concept of ‘presenteeism’ – where an employee is clearly ill and should not be in work but turns up anyway – can create problems for managers in terms of below par performance and the risk of spreading germs around colleagues.

It may be better, if this happens, for the employer to send the employee home, even if the employee wishes to stay. It’ll probably be better in the long run because the employee’s recovery will be speedier if they get time to recuperate properly; and they won’t run the risk of passing on their illness to everyone else.

In this situation, and in the situation where an employee is fit and well when they arrive at work but then suddenly becomes sick, it is for employers to decide how the day will be counted in terms of sickness absence. It is best, therefore, to have a policy in place in the company that clarifies the employer’s position. It may be, for example, that an employee sent home within 2 hours of the start of the day will be classed as being on sick leave for the full day, or it might be that an employer will count that as only half a day.

There are no statutory rules in this regard but it is extremely important that the rules, whatever they are, are made known to the employee in their employee handbook, or in some other form of written document that the employee has access to. It is also very important that the rules are applied consistently in each situation in accordance with the policy because there is no point in having rules, therefore creating expectations amongst employees, and then not putting them into practice. Entitlement to contractual sick pay will also usually be determined by which days the employer classes as sick days.

If there is no general policy in place and the treatment of this time is at a manager’s discretion it is still important not to base any decision that may infer an act of discrimination against any employee.

For the purposes of paying statutory sick pay (SSP), where an employee has come into work but not performed any work, then that day will count as a day of incapacity. Where the employee has performed some work, even just an hour and then goes home, the day cannot count as a day of incapacity.

For any further clarification, please call our 24 Hour Advice Service on 0844 892 2772.

  • Home
  • Resources
  • Leave and Absence
  • What happens if someone comes into work and falls ill within the first hour? Does this count as a day off, or is it an issue that is best considered at the managers discretion?

FAQs

Got a question? Check whether we’ve already answered it for you…

Related articles

  • Recruitment Guide

    Blog

    Britain's biggest businesses are being urged to recruit prison leavers

    Government has launched a national campaign to encourage Britain’s biggest businesses to recruit prison leavers in order to reduce re-offending and expand the economy

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Recruitment
  • sick leave

    Blog

    Prime Minister sets out reform measures to tackle 'sick note culture'

    Almost 11 million fit notes were issued last year, with an overwhelming 94% of those signed “not fit for work”. And that, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said, is a problem that must be tackled with more help for people to get the appropriate support they may need to remain in work.

    Peninsula Team Peninsula Team
    • Leave and Absence
  • Sickness leave

    Blog

    Reform to SSP and fit notes proposed

    Given the high rates of sickness absence in the UK, there have been recent calls for reform of both the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) system and the fit note process.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Leave and Absence
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and Health & Safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.