Career Advice

Can I Be Fired For Calling in Sick?

No matter what's going on in the world — be it a pandemic, economic crisis, or something else — you probably want to hang on to your job as tightly as possible. While you do everything in your power to be a model employee, you don't want to accidentally do something to get you fired, like calling in sick. But is that even possible?

Review Your Company's Policies

Before calling in sick, carefully review your company's policies regarding sick days. Most companies have at least lenient policies around how many times you’re allowed to call in sick within a certain number of days. The reason companies do this is to prevent certain types of people from taking advantage of paid sick leave when they aren’t truly too sick to come into work.

If you have a history of calling in sick, you could be putting your job in jeopardy if you've reached your limit. When in doubt, contact your HR department instead of your boss and ask them straight out if you're permitted another sick day.

You Have Certain Legal Rights

In the UK, you have the right to take extended time off for being sick. If you've been sick for over seven straight days (including bank holidays and weekends), you do need to provide a doctor's "fit note" to prove you really couldn't work or to prove that you're able to return to work. But as long as you do that, you're in the clear as far as being fired.

Your Word of Honor May be Enough

If your sick days number less than seven, you can "self-certify" to your boss that you were sick, without a doctor's note. Remember that your word of honor is gold. Never take advantage of your boss's trust that you’re telling the truth.

Remember, if you are feeling unwell, it's best to stay home and recover rather than infecting others or making yourself worse.

Employment Scouts 20 October , 2020