Sick Leave and Sick Pay for Nannies
As an employee you are entitled to leave when sick without fear of losing your job for short term illness. You are also legally entitled to Statutory Sick Pay as of the fourth consecutive day of illness and may also have contractual sick pay. You can self certify providing that you have been absent for fewer than 7 consecutive days. If you are off sick for more than 7 days you must provide your employer with a 'fit note' signed by your GP, specialist or the hospital.
If you are unwell and unable to work you should inform your employer at the earliest possible opportunity. You may prefer to initially inform them by text message or email, particularly if it is late at night, but you should follow that up with a phone call in the morning. It is not your responsibility to arrange substitute care (although your employer may be grateful if you can share suggestions or contact details).
If you are off sick for more than 7 consecutive days you must provide a 'fit note'. This will state that you are not fit to work, in which case your employer cannot require you to come in, or that you may be fit to work, which means that your employer is obliged to discuss what adjustments you would need in order to return to work. If these changes cannot be made you do not have to work.
Planned sick leave
If you are waiting for a scheduled procedure you should inform your employer as soon as you have information about the date of the procedure and the expected recovery period. It may be appropriate to agree a 'return to work' plan with your GP or specialist. Pre-operation appointments and follow-ups do not count as sick leave. Your employer may ask you to use holiday to cover these.
Pregnancy related illness
Pregnancy related illness before week 36 of pregnancy is treated as any other kind of sickness. Pregnancy related sickness after this point will trigger Maternity Leave and Statutory Maternity Pay. Illness at the end of pregnancy which is not related to your pregnancy should be be treated as any other period of sick leave.
Sick Leave whilst on Holiday
If you are sick while on holiday you are entitled to take the time as sick leave, and be paid sick pay, instead of taking your holiday entitlement. Any holiday entitlement you are unable to take during the year because you were off sick can be rolled over to the following year. You are also entitled to ask to take your time off sick as holiday, in which case you would continue to receive your usual wage. Your employer cannot oblige you to do this.
Long term sickness
If you are off work for more than 4 weeks you will be termed as 'long term sick'. You can ask your GP for a fitness for work assessment at any point or a 'return to work plan' which replaces a 'fit note'. Once a return to work plan is in place you do not have to go back to the GP for additional fit notes. If your sickness causes unreasonable strain on your employer AND your employer has considered whether it is possible to adjust your role (e.g. working fewer hours or lighter duties) AND they have consulted with you about your health and whether you will be able to return to work then your employer may be able to initiate dismissal proceedings. If you feel this is unfair you can take your employer to an Employment Tribunal.
Repeated short term sickness
If you have been off work for 4-7 days repeatedly over a short period or off sick for more than 7 days more than 4 times in a period of 12 months you employer is entitled to ask for a report from your doctor or for you to meet with their own medical advisor or one appointed by HMRC. If you meet with a medical advisor appointed by HMRC your employer will not receive a copy of the report. Instead HMRC will write to your employer and inform them of their findings. If you refuse this then your employer may have grounds to stop paying you SSP.
Statutory Sick Pay
You are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay of £88.45 per week as of the 4th consecutive day of sickness. These do not have to be working days so if you are off work sick on Friday and still sick on the following Monday you will start to receive Statutory Sick Pay. You will be paid for up to 28 weeks in the same way as your usual wages are paid. Tax and National Insurance will still be deducted if applicable. If you have two employers you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from both employers provided that you are eligible.
Contractual Sick Pay
Some nannies request that they have a certain number of paid sick days per year. This is in recognition of the fact that you work in close contact with children even when they are sick and would be excluded from another setting who may transmit their infections to you, particularly sickness and diarrhea bugs where you should remain off work for 48 hours.