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Do you have to declare a serious illness to your employer?

(6 Posts)
birdofthenorth Tue 11-Oct-11 10:51:53

A member of my staff has apparently been diagnosed with a very serious illness. I only know this because a colleague told me, who "thought I should know", but the affect member of staff doesn't know that I know. Now the affected member of staff has phoned in sick a few times, not citing this as the reason. Each time we have to pay £200 a day for cover.

I am concerned that

(a) we have a duty of care towards him and might need to offer him more support/ risk assessment

(b) unfortunately budgets are really tight and it would be really helpful to know if we need to factor in more emergency cover regularly on a longterm basis

Equally I realise it is his business and I suspect there is no legal obigation to declare major health problems?

On a human level, it is very hard to know a member of the team is going through something like this, but not to be able to ask how they are.

Any advice? Thanks

travellingtime Tue 11-Oct-11 20:25:51

cant cover the legal angle on this but my dh has a condition. not serious as in not life threatening, but can cause him to have time off for surgery.
He has always made it know to employers (usually at interview stage), just a matter of courtesy really.
In his current company he recently had to have an extended period of time off following a major op. His (then) line manager demanded to know why he didnt know anything of his condition before and was respectfully told that he had raised it verbally at interview and had done nothing to hide it.
i think if the health problem your team member is having is resulting in frequent sick days, then yes, they should be telling you and also as you say, it would make it easier for you to manage the situation
hope that helps a little, sorry cant offer anything on legalities of situ

IwishIwasmoreorganised Tue 11-Oct-11 20:29:39

What's your sick policy like? Ours states that the individual must have a verbal interview with their managers if they have 3 episodes of sickness within a 12 month period.

If yours in anything like that it will give an opportunity to ask things such as those you asked abpve.

birdofthenorth Wed 12-Oct-11 13:21:55

Thanks both, very helpful. I'm off to hunt down whether we even have a sickness policy!

Angel786 Thu 13-Oct-11 22:01:08

Check the staff handbook on absence policy. Also, do you offer any benefits like private health / life insurance as those may be affected by an employee failing to tell you the illness?

Consider there is also a right to privacy and family life to balance this all against (sorry boring lawyer comment)!

scarlettsmummy2 Thu 13-Oct-11 22:05:11

I would do a return to work interview with him and see if he discloses anything then. Both my current and previous employer have forms to be filled in if off for more than three days.

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