Preparing to get back to work after experiencing a major health issue? Whether you are still receiving medical treatment, or whether you’re in recovery, it can help to understand your employment rights.
What responsibilities does your employer have and what do you need to know before returning to work? Here, you’ll learn everything you need to know about your employment rights when you’re currently in medical aftercare.
Understanding your work’s sickness policy
You’ll first want to get to grips with your employer’s work sickness policy. This is usually found in your employee handbook.
The sickness policy will outline what you can expect in terms of salary, and how to return after a long period of absence. It will also show you how often your employer needs to be kept updated and whether you can return to work gradually.
If you’re unsure about anything, it’s important to talk to your employer. Before returning, it’s a good idea to meet with your employer to discuss your return to work and what will be expected of you.
What reasonable adjustments can you expect?
If your illness or injury has impacted your ability to work the way that you used to, you may be entitled to reasonable adjustments within the workplace. This is basically things that will make your working life easier.
It could be that you need adjustments made to the workplace so you can physically carry out your job. Or, you may need more flexible hours while you fully recover. It isn’t just the medical effects of your illness or surgery that need to be accounted for. If something went wrong during your treatment and you’re in the process of a medical negligence claim, you’ll also need additional time off for court attendance and meetings with solicitors. This should also be discussed with your solicitor.
Seeking help from Access to Work
There is a government scheme set up to help people get back to work. It is known as Access to Work, and it’s designed to help when your employer can’t. For example, you can get a grant which could help to pay for adaptations or special equipment you might need. It can also help you to get to and from work if needed.
So, if your workplace doesn’t provide much in the way of help, it’s worth contacting Access to Work to see if they can offer support.
Overall, returning to work after suffering a medical issue can be a daunting process. However, if you talk it through with your employer you should find they are able to make reasonable adjustments to help. Provided you keep them in the loop, most workplaces are happy to accommodate things such as flexible working hours.