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Losing holiday because off sick

(16 Posts)
BIWI Fri 15-Apr-16 20:22:36

I booked two days off at Easter; Thursday before and Tuesday after. However, on Wednesday I came down with a throat and a chest infection, and I was very poorly. I was in bed for most of Easter, and didn't return to work until the Friday after Easter.

I was really cheesed off that two of these days off sick were actually supposed to be days off. But when I asked our HR person if I could reclaim these as holiday, I was told that it was just tough.

I've never been in this situation before because a) it's incredibly rare for me to be sick/need to take time off work for illness and b) for 16 years I worked for myself, so didn't have to worry about 'rules and regulations'!

I think it's very unreasonable, but what's the standard policy? Would I be right or unreasonable (I know this isn't AIBU!) to push back on this?

I should stress that the company I work for is generally fantastic, and very generous/accommodating. But this is also why I was a bit surprised that they wouldn't agree to this.

Drquin Fri 15-Apr-16 20:28:19

TBH it doesn't matter if there's a "standard" policy, more what your own terms & conditions state.

chipsandpeas Fri 15-Apr-16 20:32:20

in my work you would only get them back if you actually called in sick for those days self certifying sickness
if you dont call in you wont get them back

BIWI Fri 15-Apr-16 20:35:45

That's interesting - but the HR person didn't tell me that when she refused to reinstate them.

I do, if it makes any difference, have proof that I was sick, as I ended up having to see the out of hours GP.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Fri 15-Apr-16 20:42:10

If you didnt call on the days that you were sick then I don't think you've got much chance, even with proof that you went to the doctor. I'm guessing company policy is that you must phone in on the first day of sickness?

RNBrie Fri 15-Apr-16 20:42:23

European Court of Justice agrees with you OP...
www.theguardian.com/money/2012/jun/21/staff-ill-holiday-paid-leave

I'm trying to find a link for UK law as I'm sure the rules apply here now too. I had this issue come up at work when I managed people and HR told me to give the guy his holiday days back.

RNBrie Fri 15-Apr-16 20:46:46

Here you go OP... www.gov.uk/taking-sick-leave

"If an employee is ill just before or during their holiday, they can take it as sick leave instead."

Lilaclily Fri 15-Apr-16 20:48:06

At my work you can only reclaim them if you have a doctors note

Balletgirlmum Fri 15-Apr-16 20:49:45

Are you paid for sick leave though? We are only paid after 3 days off so you might have to pay your holiday pay back.

BIWI Fri 15-Apr-16 21:33:30

Thanks all - you've made me realise that I should probably check my contract, if only I knew where it was ... grin

WeAllHaveWings Sat 16-Apr-16 00:05:11

We can claim back but only if we call in sick and have a fit note from doctors for those days.

ilovesooty Sun 17-Apr-16 22:02:51

I was ill during the week before Easter and one of my sick days was prebooked annual leave. I was able to claim it back provided I took it before the end of the holiday year.

adelemorgan Mon 18-Apr-16 08:41:01

I work night shifts and for the first three days of sickness you don't get paid and after the three days you have to provide a sick note if you want to receive sick pay.

daisychain01 Mon 18-Apr-16 20:23:58

BIWI even if you can't find a written contract, there ought to be a company policy on sick leave and what happens if you fall sick when you were due to take annual leave. It isn't exactly a rare occurrence given that people don't choose to fall I'll, it tends to just "happen to you", right.

Do you have a good relationship with your line manager? If it were me I would have a conversation with them, ultimately it will be the person you work for directly who can make the decision, HR tend to be there in cases of dispute, rather than laying down the law hard and fast. Also, you'd do well to get a certificate from your GP or the OOH doctor, which you can then produce immediately in case they ask for it. It always looks more convincing if you produce it before they ask!

As you have a great work record they may be prepared to reinstate those lost days (fingers crossed)

BIWI Mon 18-Apr-16 22:38:11

I don't really have a line manager - I suppose it's the MD! We're a small and (usually) very flexible company, which is why I was surprised about this.

Our HR person hasn't been in when I've been in the office recently, but I will take it up with her when I can.

Ellypoo Tue 19-Apr-16 12:36:31

You should generally be able to claim it as sick leave but only if you follow the company's procedure for sick leave - ie calling in on each day of illness and also possibly having a fit note. It should be set out in your staff handbook (or similar).

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