Can I contact an employee whilst they are off sick?

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In recent months we have heard from many of our clients that their employees have been absent from work due to a serious bout of cold bugs. The question always arises as to whether they can contact them when they are off sick.

There is no hard and fast rule that you cannot contact your employees whilst they are off sick. Many employers genuinely care about their employees and like to keep in touch to see how they are doing and if there is any other support that can be given.

It is reasonable to ask an employee who is off sick when they think that they are likely to return to work. This helps you to plan their work whilst they are absent. In addition, employees feel isolated or forgotten about if contact is not made and therefore keeping regular contact, asking on their progress, keeping them updated on what is happening in the workplace and discussing any support that is available so that they can return to work is all good practice.

However, in situations where it is clear that the employee is not coping well, you should consider what is a reasonable amount of contact. The best way to ascertain this, is to discuss and agree with the employee how you will contact them and when you will contact them so that everyone is clear on what will happen.

Getting the balance right is key. If you are unsure of the best option, please contact us – we’re more than happy to talk it through with you.

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