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I have an employee who has been signed off work

Contact Us - SOHWELL

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What can you do?

Keep in touch with your employee

It is important that you keep in touch with your employee on a regular basis. Agree with your employee when you will contact them, the frequency and how (by email, phone or in person). Let them know that they can request to change this at any time.

If your company have access to occupational health support, you may wish to arrange for them to contact the employee.

It is worth confirming with your employee what message they want their colleagues to be told about their absence. Some employees may want their colleagues to know why they are off work, but others may not. It is important to respect the employees wishes, maintain their confidentiality whilst also updating staff on a colleague's absence.

    • Discussing a return to work

      • The more you know about how to support a staff member's return to work the greater the chances of a positive and early return from a period of sickness. 
      • A medical certificate examines a person's general capability for work - not the current job that they do. Talk to your employee about what they think they can do and what support or changes you could make which would help them get back to work. You could consider a phased return to work or a return under adjusted duties. These changes don't necessarily need to be permanent.
    • Early return to work 

      • An employee can go back to work at any time that they feel better (they do not need to wait for the expiry of their medical certificate.)
      • A person does not need to be 100% fit before their return to work and, in the majority of occupations/jobs, a person does not need to be signed back to work by the doctor.
    • Phased return to work 

      • A phased return to the work allows a person to gradually build up to their ordinary working hours. For example:
        • starting on reduced hours
        • doing work that is different to their usual job
        • having a lighter workload
      • The length of a phased return will vary and should be agreed and regularly reviewed by the employer and employee.
    • Return to work meeting 

      • A return to work meeting is often just an informal chat between an employee and their line manager. Having a chat as soon as possible after an employee has returned to work is a good opportunity to: 
        • Update the employee on any work updates that happened while they were off
        • Confirm the support (if any) put in place 
        • Confirm what they would like colleagues to know about their absence and what they would like kept confidential
      • It is a good idea to meet regularly when a person initially returns to work to ensure that the return to work is successful. 

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