Can I be off sick with one job, but do another?

(14 Posts)
memememe94 Fri 10-Jun-16 11:22:14

Background is that I'm an academic. I'm currently signed off sick from work due to bipolar depression. I have some work to do for a different university in a couple of weeks. They pay me. I feel able to do this work. It's easy and not too stressing. It involves travelling to another university for a couple of meetings. However, I don't feel quite ready to be back at my full-time/main job. It's very stressful right now and the type of work is just too much for my poor brain to cope with.

So my question is: can I be signed off sick from my main job, but do this small job for someone else? The chances of my main employer even knowing this is minuscule and they would probably appreciate the differences. I'm hoping to be maybe need an extra week so it's not a huge difference. But I don't want to break any rules.

memememe94 Fri 10-Jun-16 11:32:51

Right! My apologies for not searching past threads first. I've found one thread where it seems that this depends on what's on the fit note. I don't want to risk anything as my work is going through redundancies.

I think I'll go with my original plan to ask to return on a phased return to my main job. Hopefully this will be manageable and allow me to do the couple of days work without risking being seen as taking the p*.

redhat Fri 10-Jun-16 11:35:47

I would always seek express permission and in doing so I would point out the differences (I'm an employment lawyer).

I have had cases where people have been dismissed for doing similar work elsewhere when off sick. However if the work really is different e.g. I have a bad back and so can't do my heavy lifting role but am quite able to do my stationary and seated book keeping role, then you are probably going to be fine.

memememe94 Fri 10-Jun-16 12:11:52

Many thanks for replying. Would undergoing a phased return to my main work therefore be enough to cover me? My GP has never put any requirements of a phased return on the note. My employer has always been happy for me to put in place whatever measures I wish.

Having thought a bit more, I'm just maybe I haven't properly represented the additional work by calling it my second job. It's a bit less clear than that. I get paid fees for undertaking the additional work, but taking on that work is something that is considered desirable and something I can claim to be doing as part of my role. It's a bit of both work for my main role, but paid additional money from the other uni.

maisiejones Fri 10-Jun-16 20:09:29

Regardless of the legal position, if I was your primary employer I'd think you had a bloody nerve.

Floggingmolly Fri 10-Jun-16 20:13:14

I knew someone who was sacked for doing this, but in his case the actual work was very similar (printing) and he was being paid (sick pay) by the primary employer.

RaarSaidTheLion Sat 11-Jun-16 01:44:17

Legally and morally, I'd say no. Not what you want to hear, and not fair in an ideal world I know, but probably safest not to.

clarrrp Sat 11-Jun-16 01:55:35

So my question is: can I be signed off sick from my main job, but do this small job for someone else? The chances of my main employer even knowing this is minuscule and they would probably appreciate the differences. I'm hoping to be maybe need an extra week so it's not a huge difference. But I don't want to break any rules.

If you are performing a similar role / job in both jobs - and as you say that you are an academic so I assume that you are - then the employer that you are signed off from could well have grounds to take disciplinary action or dismissal depending on the specific details of the illness and situation as well as your contract with them - does your contract allow for a second job with another institution?

Motherfuckers Sat 11-Jun-16 01:59:08

No, of course you can't.

GraysAnalogy Sat 11-Jun-16 02:03:30

It'll probably be covered by Gross Misconduct. Someone at my place was sacked for this, she was off sick but doing agency work. If you claim sick pay it could be fraud.

moray-employment-law.co.uk/can-employee-work-elsewhere-whilst-sick-leave/

RaarSaidTheLion Sat 11-Jun-16 02:09:57

Do you live/work in Elgin Grays?

GraysAnalogy Sat 11-Jun-16 02:12:39

No roar, I'm in the North of England. Has the same happened there?

RaarSaidTheLion Sat 11-Jun-16 02:22:44

Not that I kno wof, just

1. There is a hospital in Elgin called Dr Gray's, so I thought your NN might be a double play on words
2. The link you used comes from a solicitor in Elgin

So I put 2 & 2 together and made 6!

GraysAnalogy Sat 11-Jun-16 02:25:14

That makes total sense though! I'm not surprised you thought that. I do work in a hospital though ha

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