Sickness absence and disability discrimination

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It can be frustrating when an employee takes time off work due to being unwell, especially for a small business that does not have an excess pool of workers to cover that employee.

Employment law contains rules on how employers should handle sickness absence by employees and also what to do when an employee returns to work after a period of sickness absence. It’s important to follow these rules properly to avoid a later challenge by an unhappy employee who claims to have been caused unnecessary hardship and/or to have been unlawfully discriminated against.

Employers also have a duty to care for their employees’ health and safety and to accommodate, wherever reasonable, employee disabilities. Disabilities are defined quite broadly and include conditions such as stress.

You’ll find guidance on all of these key topics below.

We recommend using our guides as your starting point and to set helpful context for the way in which the templates and other documents can be used. If you’re ever unsure about how to use any of our materials, just get in touch on the contact details below.


The content on elXtr has been prepared by LHS Solicitors. It’s intended as guidance only and not to be regarded as a substitute for consultation with one of our solicitors, since every case will ultimately turn on its own particular facts and circumstances. We recommend that you use our materials as your starting point and be aware that you sometimes have to follow a set procedure before taking any action, especially in an employment context. If you are in any doubt, we’d suggest that you get in touch with us and we’ll talk you through your options on how to get the right legal advice.