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Q: Can we contact an employee at home when they are off sick? A:Yes, it’s a common misconception (mainly one held by employees) that employers have no right to contact them whilst they are off work through sickness absence. You can, and should, stay in touch with an employee during such time, either by letter giving regular updates, or telephone calls (providing that they are made during reasonable hours). The frequency of contact will very much depend on the length of their sickness absence. Short-term could mean daily contact, whereas long-term might see it reduced to weekly. Research shows that this approach can help to minimise the feeling of isolation – particularly with long-term sickness absence – and helps the employee’s eventual return to work go more smoothly.

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