Hi There

One of our employees has already used up all of his 22 days annual leave entitlement.

However, he now wants to book an extra week off in August, citing that as he has worked for us for 5 years, he should be allowed an extra week’s leave (he already gets 2 days extra for his length of service thus far).

Unfortunately, as this is a key holiday time with 2 of our other employees already booked off the same week, and as he has already used up his alloted allowance, we’ve had to refuse his request for the time off due to staffing levels (we are only a small firm, so 3 workers being absent simultaneously would be a real stretch).

We have since found out from his co-workers that as we refused his holiday request, he is now planning to go off sick for that week in August instead (and use a self certification notice from his doctors). When asked, he freely admitted that he was going to do this – go off sick and we’ll have to pay him SSP whilst he’s off.

Can he do this? If you know an employee is going to take a week off sick in advance (when he isn’t actually sick), is it a potential disciplinary matter? Does statutory sick pay still have to be paid when you know that the employee isn’t really going to be sick that week?

This guy has a really good attendance record otherwise, and I’m unsure as to how best to proceed from here.

Any advice would be welcome.

Many thanks
Caroline Ashton