All present but is it correct?

Most of the questions I’m asked about illness relate to when people haven’ turned up.  What about when people come to work that shouldn’t?  Jurgen Klopp was back at work as Liverpool Manager less than 48 hours after having his appendix removed.  Should Liverpool FC have insisted he go back to bed?

Your duty of care

Every employer has a duty of care to their employees.  That extends to making sure they are not at work when they shouldn’t be.  Many people are signed off work for 6 weeks after having their appendix removed.  Klopp discharged himself from hospital.  While he would have medical professionals around him at work, I personally think Liverpool should have said “go home”.

That duty of care also extends to your other employees.  The hero who comes in with the flu is not just making their own illness last longer, they may pass it on to others.  Some staff may be particularly vulnerable to illness.  Consider people who are pregnant or have a long term medical condition.

You also have a duty of care to your customers.  If your employees work with food and have a stomach complaint, they must take 48 hours off work after their symptoms finish.


Long term effects of illness

If an employee’s illness lasts more than 7 days, they must provide a doctor’s Fit Note.  Before you allow someone back to work against doctor’s orders, speak to your insurer.  You may find your employee is not covered.


Other times employees cannot work

Of course, pregnancy is not an illness but it is worth mentioning some rules regarding pregnancy/maternity leave.  If your employee is off work with a pregnancy-related illness in her last four weeks of pregnancy, she automatically goes on maternity leave.

Also, you must not allow her to work in any capacity for the two weeks following the birth of her child or four weeks if she works in a factory.  You can’t even allow her to work from home.


So was it worth it for Jurgen Klopp?  Did  they win their FA Cup replay against West Ham?  Ironically they lost in “injury time“.



Categories Health and Safety, Sickness, Uncategorized