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I was supposed to start a new job last week but on Monday I had a nasty case of diarrhea and decided to stay at home. I sent an apologetic email to the new company and they seemed to understand. My illness has lasted longer than expected though and now it looks like I might not be able to start until next Monday, two weeks after I was supposed to. I have a note from my doctor declaring me not fit for work for this time and I've kept the employer updated as to my condition. I also offered to do any work that I might be able to do from home, without having been inducted, but didn't hear back about that (which is what I expected). I'm in the UK if that makes a difference.

I had assumed that despite the unfortunate timing, this would work like normal sick leave, for which I should get paid in full according to my contract. I just received an email from HR though suggesting that my start date be moved to next Monday, which would presumably mean no pay for these two weeks. I replied asking for clarification.

So what am I legally entitled to in this situation, and what can I expect? I can absorb the financial hit of not being paid if it comes to it but I really don't want to. Will it hurt my relationship with the new company if I insist on being paid?

It seems to me that if I don't get paid for this time it would create a major perverse incentive for new starters, as I could have gone in my first day, spent the whole day on the toilet and infected everyone, but get several hundred pounds for it. It doesn't seem right that doing the responsible thing by staying home should cost me that money.

  • 3
    Do you have a signed contract? – Sebastian Aguerre Feb 26 at 13:14
  • I am in England. The contract has been signed by both parties and says the commencement date is last Monday. – J Person Feb 26 at 13:23
  • In Germany you would get paid, but by your health insurance - so yes, it makes a difference. – Daniel Feb 26 at 13:23
  • What does the contract say? I assume you will, but we have some good experienced folk who are in the UK who can answer. – Mister Positive Feb 26 at 13:31
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Usually in the UK according to the contract, you would have a probationary period and every place I've worked at has rules about this probationary period, one of which is no sick pay during such period.

Now if your contract doesn't state such and neither do their policies, then your start date should be what it was and you should have your pay as stated in your contract (most places state you have the right to statutory pay during this period).

It may be that you will have to make your claim for the statutory pay and even if the company wants to not pay you for that period you can try and reach the middle ground agreement that, you were employed by then from that date and would like to receive at least your statutory rights even if they refuse to make full payment.

Make them aware you are happy to have this impact your bradford score as it was a genuine case from which you have documented evidence of but in reality you were already under their employment otherwise you wouldn't have had to contact them to let them know what was going on. So politely refuse to have the date changed as this has other implications for you (like missing out on statutory pay)

  • The contract mentions a probationary period, but only says that I can be dismissed without notice during that time, it doesn't mention sick pay. – J Person Feb 26 at 14:02
  • Then you should be paid your rate rather than statutory pay – Twyxz Feb 26 at 14:06
  • if there is no subsection under the sick pay that mentions the probationary period or anything along the lines of "to our discretion" then you should be paid in full with the original start date – fireshark519 Feb 26 at 14:11
  • @JPerson if the contract/company handbook says nothing I would probably say you will just get statutory sick pay - I have been there had a bout of sepsis and spent 2 weeks in hospital – Neuromancer Feb 26 at 23:16

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