Sickness and ending employment - Sick leave

Sickness and ending employment

Someone's employment can end while they're on sick leave. For example if:

  • the employer dismisses them
  • they choose to resign

Dismissal during sick leave

An employer might dismiss an employee during sick leave. For example, because:

  • their illness means they're no longer capable of doing their job
  • they're being made redundant


An employer should take steps to avoid dismissing an employee on the grounds of capability.

They should look at ways they can support the employee to return to work. For example:

  • making changes to their role
  • using a phased return to work

An employer must make reasonable adjustments if an employee is disabled.

Find out more about:


If an employer is considering making redundancies, they should keep employees who are off sick up to date during the process.

An employer could be discriminating against an employee if they're off sick and miss something important. For example, if their sick leave is related to pregnancy or a disability.

Resignation during sick leave

An employee can resign while they're off sick.

They should follow the right process to resign.

Find out more about resignation

Resignation and benefits

An employee who is off sick might find that resigning from work will affect their benefits.

If you're considering resigning due to ill-health and you think it might affect your benefits, contact Citizens Advice.

Taking sick leave during the notice period

An employee can take sick leave during their notice period.

The organisation's usual rules about reporting sickness absence will apply.

What the employee gets paid depends on:

  • why their employment is ending
  • what their notice period is
  • what their employment contract says

Find out more about pay during the notice period

Contact the Acas helpline

If you have any questions about sickness and ending employment, contact the Acas helpline.

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