School incorrectly advised about employee’s sick pay entitlement

We acted for a large secondary school academy in London. We were contacted for advice on handling a grievance from a longstanding employee. The employee was employed part-time but had been suffering from a period of ill-health. She had agreed with the client that she would return to work on a full-time basis after the summer holiday. The employee did not return to work and claimed sick pay based on her full-time employment. Our client had been advised incorrectly by a HR consultancy that as the employee had not returned to work, the full-time contract was not enforceable by the employee. Our client subsequently tried to claw back overpaid sick pay and the employee then complained with the support of the National Union of Teachers.

We assisted the school by providing advice on the employee’s entitlement. We also advised in relation to any potential discrimination claim that could be bought by the employee in light of the long term sickness. Once the legal position was correctly established, we assisted with a strategy for a hearing and subsequent appeal hearing.  The matter was bought to close with minimal cost and publicity for our client.

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