Introduction to this document

Letter to sick employee requesting contact

Our letter asks your employee to get in touch with you where they’re on long-term sick leave and you’ve been unable, for whatever reason, to get hold of them to check on their progress and to discuss a possible return to work.

Long-term absence

Once sickness absence goes into a second calendar week, you will start to receive statements of fitness for work (or “fit notes”) from your employee, signed by their GP. At this point, what often happens is that their direct contact with you then becomes less and less - after all, out of sight is often out of mind. However, it’s important not to let the situation drift. Whilst you can’t harass them during their sickness absence by phoning them every day, you are entitled to maintain reasonable contact with them, say once every week or two, both to check how they’re getting on and to see if there’s anything more you could be doing to help facilitate a return to work. Indeed, if they’re disabled, you’re under a positive duty to make reasonable adjustments under the Equality Act 2010 in order to ensure they’re not placed at a substantial disadvantage compared with non-disabled employees, and this can include adjustments to enable them to return from sick leave.

Lack of contact

Normally, your contact will be by telephone or e-mail and, in an ideal word, your employee will be co-operative and answer your calls or reply to your e-mails. However, if you’re faced with a situation where you’ve made several attempts to contact them but with no success, use our Letter to Sick Employee requesting Contact to chase them up. Quite simply, it refers to your unsuccessful efforts to contact them and then asks them to contact you.