In Sickness and in Health

An employment relationship may feel like a marriage, but when your employee signs that agreement do you really promise to support them till death do you part?

Kathy Hughes looks at handling long term sickness. Even the best employee can get sick. Colds, flu and every day illnesses are easily handled with the sick leave provisions of the Holidays Act, but what do you do when an employee suffers a more serious accident or illness that keeps them off work for an extended period? How do you deal with an employee who can no longer carry out the responsibilities of their role in full? You might decide that you can’t continue to employ them.

What you will or can do depends on the circumstances of each case. As with any time you consider terminating employment, proper procedure is paramount. You will need to consider, amongst other things, how long the absence due to illness or accident has been, what if any prospects there are for recovery, how long the staff member has been in your employment, and what long term effects there may be. You may also need to consider if there are any alternative positions that might be available.

You will need to consult with th...

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