Disability leave FAQs
Can disabled staff take all of their appointments as disability leave?
Staff should try and take appointments and treatment outside of work. However, if this is not possible due to clinic times or specialist treatments, staff should discuss this with their manager in advance of the proposed treatment and agree the period of disability leave.
A staff member is due to undergo cancer treatment wants to stay at work as much as possible. Can they take disability leave rather than sick leave if they are well enough to work?
Each disability leave case will be taken on its own merits as each person’s condition, treatment, resilience and reaction to treatments will be different.
It may be appropriate for disability leave to be taken where treatment is for a short period and the recovery period is easily predicted. It is important to obtain Occupational Health guidance in such instances to ensure that disability leave is the right option for the staff member. It may be more appropriate for a period of sickness absence if a longer period of recovery time is required. This also ensures the member of staff does not feel they have to force themselves back to work if they are not well enough and have not recovered.
Is there an entitlement to a maximum number of days off per year?
No. Each case will be taken on its own merits and there is no set number of days.
We recognise that there may be some periods where individuals require more time off than others. Disability leave is there to support individuals when they require special leave for treatment and appointments and these will occur as and when they are required.
Following treatment a staff member is not well enough to work the following day – should this be treated as disability leave or disability-related sick leave?
If the member of staff is not well and cannot return to work after the predicted recovery period which is beyond the granted disability leave, the member of staff will need to ring in sick if they are not fit for work.
Disability leave will not usually be granted beyond the predicted expected recovery period. If you are aware prior to your treatment recovery may extend beyond the predicted recovery period it is recommended this is authorised prior to your treatment.
Where can more advice and support be obtained in relation to disability or long term health conditions?
There are a number of sources of advice and support available at the Trust including:
- Occupational Health
- Inclusion Team
- Staff Disability or Long Term Health Condition Network
- Access to Work (for workplace adjustments)
- Business Disability Forum (confidential advice for managers and employees about how to support people with a disability in the workplace)
To find out more, please email the HR First Contact Team, Inclusion Team or the Staff Disability or Long Term Health Condition Network.