I was contacted about a work issue
in Redundancy & redundancy planning
6 replies 1.3K views
by my HR even though I was on long-term sick. I had to look at a problem and involve myself in conference calls but could not deal with it due to my illness. Is my employer in breach of the new contract they gave me when they said I would not be contacted about work and can I sue them?
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I note that it was HR that contacted the OP.
When I was off long-term sick a number of years back, the HR still made contact periodically under the wellbeing guise, and that even included a visit at one point. I think the duty of care still requires some contact is maintained as well as the company looking to understand and manage when a return might be possible.
When I was working (now retired) I was off sick for a six-month period and was not contacted at home. Looking back, I realise now that I really had a great employer (higher education) because I was entitled to receive six months with full pay and six months with half pay.
I did - and still do - have a policy of not answering my phone though because I went through a period where I was receiving weird calls and so changed the number, bought an answerphone and put a message on there asking people to please leave a message if they wanted me to return the call. It still works well to this day.
I didn't actually return to that job as, once I'd recovered, I applied for and was given a voluntary redundancy which helped me to go on to study for an undergraduate degree and I never looked back.
But I was always told that if I produced the required certification from my GP then I would not be bothered at home. It's the last thing you want when you're not feeling at your best and it could even hinder your recovery.
If your employer does ever want to carry out any 'wellbeing' checks then they should be up front and honest about it and call it what it is, rather than asking you to participate in conference calls, etc.
I hope you are feeling better soon.
However, if they were contacting you and effectively asking you to work, then they should not have done so, equally however you could have reminded them you were signed off and unable to deal ith the matter.
IF they contacted you about things relted to you - e.g to check in on you, clarify whether ytour were recovring / timsecale for return and soforth this is fairly normal and isn't inappropriate.
What would be trying to sue for? If you were not of full pay you might be able to be asked to be paid for the time spent working but Idon't think there would e anything beyond thtthatyou would be entitled to.
However, if you have been offered a setlement agreement then you should be getting that reviewed with an emplpyment lwyer and can ask them whether the call would make any difference.