Sickness and absence policy

This comprehensive policy helps ensure that employees know procedures and obligations during periods of unplanned absence, whether due to sickness or some other reason. The document aids employers with compliance with Employment Rights Act and other employment legislation.
Suitable for use in: England & Wales and Scotland
  • Solicitor approved
  • Plain English makes editing easy
  • Guidance notes included
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About this policy

Unplanned employee absence can be a significant cost for a business. This document covers leave for sickness and for other emergency situations.

While employment law gives employees certain rights to leave in some circumstances (notably sickness), they also have obligations to their employers. There are also situations where employees do not have rights to automatic leave (such as a boiler breaking down at home), but where a conscientious employer will want to help and motivate staff by giving additional rights.

A policy document such as this one should make employees aware of their rights and obligations. Although it can't prevent employees abusing their rights, it should clarify the rules, so that if an employee steps too far out of line your business can take appropriate, fair, action. It acts as both a reference point for employees and managers when unplanned leave is taken and can help support an employer in dispute over leave.

This sickness and absence policy can be adapted for a business with any number of employees and in any industry.

Application and features

  • Publicises your compliance with legal obligations of the Employment Rights Act and statutory sick pay legislation
  • Helps set boundaries within which staff can work efficiently and effectively
  • Helps ensure staff understand the business policy
  • Helps to protect you from claims that you have been unfair
  • Provides both you and your employees with an easy reference as to sickness and absence procedures


  • Outline of company policy
  • Notification procedure
  • Entitlement to sick pay depending on period of continuing employment
  • Forfeiture of entitlement to sick pay
  • Necessary steps an employee must take if they are absent
  • Certification requirements
  • Prolonged or persistent absence
  • Return to work interview
  • Conduct during sickness absence
  • Sickness during annual leave
  • Other absence

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current English law.

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