An employee has been absent sick for over two years. He is not covered by sick pay and insurers deem him fit to work. His own doctor deems him unfit for work. Is company obliged to keep job open, and if so for how long?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 5 March 2013
Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

An employer is not required to keep an employee’s position open indefinitely if he or she is no longer fully capable, competent or available to undertake the duties attached to the role.

However, where an employee is dismissed for reasons connected with his/her ability to perform the duties required in his/her job due to a medical condition, which amounts to a disability, an Industrial Tribunal will consider whether the employer failed to make reasonable adjustments to facilitate the employee returning to or remaining at work. Failure to do so could lead to a disability discrimination claim. Failing to follow a fair procedure before dismissing the employee could also lead to an unfair

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Arthur Cox
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Arthur Cox. Contact telephone number is +44 28 9026 2673 or email

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