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Should DP have been paid???

(39 Posts)
mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 14:16:45

My DP was off sick for approximately 6 weeks due to an ongoing back problem. As his sickness is covered by a sick line his employers would normally have paid him for this. He was expecting a shortfall in his salary this month but has just found out he is only to get SSP, which is a drop of around £700 shock in his monthly salary. When he asked his employers why this was they said it was because they paid him the last time he was off. They do say that it is at managers discretion but it just seems really unfair. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated. sad

Ambi Mon 28-Jul-08 14:19:17

I'm no expert, but it depends on what it states in his contract, sadly if he's only due the SSP then I guess that's what they've chosen to pay him. Our company is the same, contract states SSP, but soemtimes we are paid for sicktime depending on the situation.

mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 14:25:13

Thanks Ambi, it states its at managers discretion so we thought there was nothing we could do about it....just thought it strange that they have said the reason for him not being paid is because he was paid the last time he was off with the same injury...??? They have been treating him really badly due to his time off with severe back pain, (cut off his internet access when all the rest of the office still have this, invited all the office out to lunch except for him etc, etc) so its just getting to the stage where it seems they want him to leave sad

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 14:26:47

If it's discretionary then they don't have to pay it.

However, if they usually do, for your DH and for everyone else, that could be slightly different.

Does your DH know that they always pay full pay for long term sickness like this? Has he had long periods like this off before and always been paid? What about other people?

If they never reduce sick pay to SSP for anyone in similar circumstances, he may have an argument if they are suddenly doing it to him.

mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 14:57:19

thanks flowery (again grin) They paid him for the last bout of illness he had due to this same illness. He is still waiting to hear back from them if they are going to formally discipline him for this also....he sent an e-mail to HR today and was told that they are still waiting on a report from his GP. It just seems they are trying every trick in the book to be rid of him angry. Just such a big drop in his salary and its our dd's fourth birthday this month toosad

ilovemydog Mon 28-Jul-08 15:00:04

Is there a union agreement re: sick pay?

Although an employer doesn't have to pay anything over SSP, they often will if a union agreement is in place...

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 15:02:36

What about as a more general thing though, for the whole company? Is it truely discretionary in that sometimes they pay it sometimes they don't, or in practice do they actually pay everyone all the time?

mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 15:03:44

no union involvement im afraid ilovemydog....YET!!! wink He works in a small office, although the company itself is big. Just really frustrating that they havent paid him a penny this month...just waiting to hear back about thier decision regarding being disciplined for his absence as he will be approaching an employment tribunal if they do discipline him for this....the way they have handled it is disgraceful... his attendance record is better than most in the office as he has only been off with this one injury.

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 15:05:06

truly, sorry, it's hot!

ilovemydog Mon 28-Jul-08 15:05:33

They cannot withhold pay pending disciplinary action.

mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 15:05:54

not too sure flowery....everyone is told to keep any salary information extremely confidential (wonder why, eh? wink) and so these things are kept really quiet. My DP said that if sickness is covered with sick lines they pay you, is this something they would have to document in a company handbook etc?

mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 15:08:05

ilovemydog does this not only apply if they state the reason hes not being paid is due to disciplinary action, as they havent said this outright....just that he was paid the last time so they arent paying him this time....or is this a general thing that applies legally?

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 15:09:01

They wouldn't have to document it, no, to give them room not to do so. In my nanny's contract it states I will only give her SSP, but in practice I imagine I will probably pay her in full <<hopes nanny is not reading....>>.

When your DP says if a sickness absence is covered by a medical certificate they pay you, how does he actually know that? Where is he getting that from?

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 15:10:00

Why's he not been paid a penny? Not even SSP?

mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 15:13:43

Sorry Flowery, yes he has been given SSP, but its leaving his salary £700 short shock, bad month for this due to our dd's birthday. This would appear to have been the practice the company had used in the past regarding long periods of sickness but I dont think my DP could prove this so probably not a lot we can do. We will just need to wait and see what the results of the disciplinary are and take it from there I suppose.

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 15:20:30

To be fair to the company in question, it wouldn't be unusual to stop paying full sick pay if absence becomes extended or regular. If they've paid him full pay for a previous long term absence it's not actually unreasonable of them to not do so this time.

It is unreasonable if they always pay everyone full pay regardless. But very difficult to prove that as you say, and it's probably not true either.

mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 15:24:01

Thought so flowery....thanks very much for your advice smile [pulling in my purse strings smiley]

ilovemydog Mon 28-Jul-08 15:28:25

Am somewhat confused.

If DH is being disciplined (for sickness?) they cannot withhold his pay. It is possible that the disciplinary procedure may penalize him financially, but this would need to be with his agreement.

In other words, the company cannot say, 'until the outcome of a disciplinary action, we are docking your pay...'

ANTagony Mon 28-Jul-08 15:28:45

Just encase its another line of reasoning for him is the back pain at all work related/ aggrevated by his job. RSI type injury from poor desk chair arrangement etc?

mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 15:32:58

ilovemydog....he received a letter through from the company to say they were going to discipline him due to his absence about eight weeks ago...he is still waiting on the outcome of this investigation as they have requested a report from his GP. The only reason that they have said he is not being paid this time, is due to the fact that he was paid the last time he was off, no mention of the pending displinary decision. ANTagony, his back pain started around about the time he started his job, but no evidence it was caused by this. When he was off on holiday he came back to find his chair had been given to a new member of staff and he had to sit on a meeting room chair for a week before a new one was delivered, this definately aggrevated his pain.

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 15:33:00

ilovemydog as I understand it from previous threads as well as this one, the disciplinary action and pay are not linked in that way.

I don't think they've said they are witholding pay pending the outcome of the disciplinary, although mum2taylor please correct me if I am wrong.

I think they are just saying they've paid a large amount of sick pay for him already and are not going to do so for this absence.

I think that's probably reasonable. I don't think the disciplinary is reasonable at all, but I think it's separate.

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 15:34:44

x-post

Interesting about the chair issue, that's definitely relevant - that means their action has exacerbated the problem. If (when) he does his appeal he must make that clear, and he should also make it very clear to his GP as he/she is doing a report for them.

mum2taylor Mon 28-Jul-08 15:38:17

good point flowery...hadnt thought about that with the GP report....maybe just as well it has not been provided yet. So, do you think it would be relevant for him to have discussed this report with his GP first before signing the consent form to have this supplied? His GP had wanted to sign him off work for longer due to his condition but his employers were putting pressure on him and he told the GP he had to go back, so we know his GP is fully supportive. Flowery your right about the pay issue, no mention of it being due to disciplinary action.

flowerybeanbag Mon 28-Jul-08 15:41:01

I think he should pop along to see his GP asap to have a chat about the report, about the chair issue, and to generally find out what the GP is planning to say.

It sounds as though GP report will be helpful if GP is generally supportive and wanted to sign him off longer, but it would be a good idea to have a conversation with him/her I think to make sure everything relevant is covered.

ANTagony Mon 28-Jul-08 15:42:59

If he sits at the chair for more than 2 hours a day, and this went on for a week, then in my opinion they're on dodgy ground not paying full sick pay as poor office seating is well proven to aggrevate back pain seehere

I would personally feel as an employer that the company is exposed, and actually sounds like they are constructively dissmissing hime by making his life difficult in this instance causing severe pain and injury. Various of the free work injury lawyers will actually deal with this kind of simple RSI injury for free if you want to take it that far.

As they are already querying a previous (back pain?) sickness they are aware that his work station needs particular attention. He needs to make sure his doctor is aware of the poor seating arrangement at the office before his period of sickness so this is written into any report and raise this as an issue in writing - noting dates, times and line management he's discussed this with.

Good luck

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