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Can your employment be terminated for taking sick leave?

Termination of employment is a very serious matter which has wide-ranging implications for an employee. It should only be done after very careful consideration by employers, and must be based on relevant and objective performance criteria. Employers should treat sick employees with compassion and should not terminate employment just for taking sick leave.

However, there may be situations where an employer assesses an employee to be too ill for the job, and where excessive or repeated absence adversely impacts the company's work. In such situations, the employer can terminate employment after giving due notice or pay in lieu of notice.

Sick leave is an entitlement. If you’re covered by the Employment Act and feel you’ve been terminated unfairly, or without just cause, you can appeal in writing to the Ministry of Manpower.

Last Updated: 7 September 2017