Sickness and return to work

We will continue to pay your salary as normal during short periods of illness. Our long-term sick leave policy is outlined below.


If you are sick and cannot work, please let the company know as soon as possible by Slack, telephone, text or email. You don’t have to do this in person, you can get someone else to notify on your behalf. You should also give an idea of the nature of your illness and when you might return to work. We may request that you provide us with evidence such as a medical certificate.

Normally you should communicate this to your manager, who will be responsible for reporting your availability to the company, project team, and allocations.

If you are off for an extended period of time, you should communicate regularly with your manager to ensure that they are aware of your current status and so they support the company to plan around your absence.

If you know in advance you are going to be off sick in the future e.g. for an operation, please give as much notice as possible to help with planning.

Sick days should be entered into Bob (this can be done when you are well enough to return to work). You can do this via Bob’s Slack integration (Apps in the sidebar > Bob > Submit New Request > Insert details under “Sick”)

Bob Sickness in Slack

A failure to give us proper notice may result in disciplinary action being taken against you. 

Long Term Illness

There may be periods during which long-term illness affects your ability to work, causing you either to take a long-term absence or regular short term absences, in excess of your statutory minimum entitlement. If you have a valid medical reason for the absence, We may, in our discretion, continue to pay your salary as usual for at least a further two months, provided that you have first exhausted all statutory entitlements. Please come and speak to us about this.  We may decide that you can continue to accrue holiday entitlements during the absence. 

During this time it is important that:

  • you inform Human Made as soon as possible after the start of your illness so that resources can be re-allocated
  • you keep in touch with Human Made and let us know of any changes to your circumstances

A failure to give us proper notice may result in disciplinary action being taken against you, including the termination of your employment. 

If there are financial circumstances which are preventing you from getting adequate medical help (e.g. if your insurance doesn’t cover the right sort of care) please let us know to see how we can assist.


For long term illness, we will talk to you about how the company can best support you. As all circumstances are different, we have no fixed time that you can take off, but you will be able to take the time that you need to get better.

Illness in your family

There may be circumstances when a family member is ill and you need to care for them. In these circumstances please let us know. You may wish to take time off to care for a family member. Alternatively, if you wish to continue working, Human Made will assist with short-term costs of childcare.

Return to work

We’ll keep in touch with you while you are off sick, particularly if you are off for longer than as week. If you wish, we’ll keep you up to date with anything relevant that is taking place at work.

If you have been off sick for a while, we’ll discuss any arrangements or adjustments that may need to be made to help you return to work. These may be logistical such as part-time working and reduced workload, or physical such as equipment or changes to your working environment. This may require guidance from your doctor or other health professionals.

If you have ongoing health issues we may need to do some longer term planning with you about what may or may not be possible in the future. This may also require input from your health professionals.

We’ll do our best, where reasonable, to support you in returning to work within your capabilities and whatever way is most suitable.

Return to Work Process

If you have been off work for reasons such as illness, stress, or mental health issues, we want to do everything we can to support your return to work so that you can be a productive member of the team. The reasons for your absence from work are unique to you, but this process gives you a rough outline of what to expect upon your return to work.

  1. A week before your return, you will have a call with your manage to talk about your expectations for your return to work, and the goals that you have for the first few months. We will encourage you to set realistic goals that we can help you to achieve.
  2. A team of people will be available to provide support and do whatever is necessary for your success. This will normally include your line manager and People Operations.
  3. You will be assigned a return-to-work buddy who will be there to check in regularly with you. You should use this person to talk through issues and get help. 
    1. If you normally work on client projects, you will work on a suitable internal project for up to 4 weeks after your return, perhaps longer (depending on how long you were absent from work, the nature of your illness, and its severity). This will ensure that you are re-onboarded to the company and comfortable in your role, before adding the stresses of client work to your day-to-day tasks.
    2. If you do not work on client projects, your team lead or manager will ensure that you have a reduced workload, additional 1:1s, and help you to prioritise tasks for your first month back.
  4. At four weeks, we will review progress.
    1. For employees on client projects: upon approval from your team lead/manager and Siobhan, we will start having discussions with Allocations about a suitable project to assign you to. This will normally be a non-lead role, on a project with at least one other developer.
    2. For other employees: you, your team lead, and Siobhan, will review your progress to see if you are ready to take on an increased workload.
  5. After this period, you, your manager, and PeoplemOperations, will assess whether you are ready to go back to work at your full capacity. We will rely heavily upon your judgement at this stage so it’s important that you are upfront about what you feel you are ready for. If you need longer to settle back in that is totally acceptable. 

We hope that this phased re-introduction to work will help you to re-establish yourself in the company. You may be surprised to find that returning to work is more difficult than expected, and if you do relapse or struggle to settle in, do let someone know, whether that’s your buddy, your manager, Siobhan, Tom, or someone else. Everyone at Human Made is invested in your return to work and health. 


You will continue to accrue your statutory annual leave entitlement if you are absent from work due to sickness on paid leave. 


The following paragraphs set out our procedure for dealing with long-term absence or where your level or frequency of short-term absence has given us cause for concern The purpose of the procedure is to investigate and discuss the reasons for your absence, whether it is likely to continue or recur, and whether there are any measures that could improve your health and/or attendance. We may decide that medical evidence, or further medical evidence, is required before deciding on a course of action.

We will notify you in writing of the time, date and place of any meeting, and why it is being held. We will usually give you a week’s notice of the meeting. You are invited to bring a support person along to this meeting.

If you cannot attend at the time specified you should let us know as soon as possible and we will try, within reason, to agree an alternative time.

If you have a disability, we will consider whether reasonable adjustments may need to be made to the sickness absence meetings procedure, or to your role or working arrangements.

We may ask you to consent to a medical examination by a doctor or occupational health professional or other specialist nominated by us (at our expense).

You will be asked to agree that any medical report produced may be disclosed to us and that we may discuss the contents of the report with the specialist and with our advisers. All medical reports will be kept confidential.

The purposes of a sickness absence meeting or meetings will be to discuss the reasons for your absence, how long it is likely to continue, whether it is likely to recur, whether to obtain a medical report, and whether there are any measures that could improve your health and/or attendance.

In cases of long-term absence, we may seek to agree a return-to-work programme, possibly on a phased basis.

In cases of short-term, intermittent absence (without proper justification), we may set a target for improved attendance within a certain timescale. 

If, after a reasonable time, you have not been able to return to work or if your attendance has not improved within the agreed timescale (without proper justification), we will hold a further meeting or meetings. Again, you are invited to bring a support person with you to these meetings. We will seek to establish whether the situation is likely to change, and may consider redeployment opportunities at that stage. If it is considered unlikely that you will return to work or that your attendance will improve within a short time, we may give you a written warning that you are at risk of dismissal. We may also set a further date for review.

Where you have been warned that you are at risk of dismissal, and the situation has not changed significantly, we will hold a meeting to consider the possible termination of your employment. Before we make a decision, we will consider any matters you wish to raise and whether there have been any changes since the last meeting.

You may appeal against the outcome of any stage of this procedure. If you wish to appeal you should set out your appeal in writing to Tom, stating your grounds of appeal, within one week of the date on which the decision was sent or given to you.

If you are appealing against a decision to dismiss you, we will hold an appeal meeting, normally within two weeks of receiving the appeal. This will be dealt with impartially and, where possible, by a more senior manager who has not previously been involved in the case.

We will confirm our final decision in writing, usually within one week of the appeal hearing. There is no further right of appeal and if a decision to dismiss you has been made, your employment will come to an end.