Sickness and return to work

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. If you have a valid medical reason for absence, Human Made will continue to pay your salary as usual for at least the first three months.

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

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.


If you are sick and cannot work, please let your team know as soon as possible by telephone, text, Slack or email. You don’t have to do this in person, you can get someone else to notify on your behalf. It is not a requirement that you inform us of the nature of your illness, but if you choose to we will do what we can to provide support. You should give an indication when you will return to work.

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.

In addition to informing your team of your absence, sick days should be entered into 🔒 Charlie HR (this can be done when you are well enough to return to work)

Long-term illness

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.


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.


We’ll keep in touch with you while you are off sick, particularly if you are off for longer than a 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.

Details of our Return to Work process can be found here.


You will continue to accrue your statutory annual leave entitlement during the period of sickness.


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.

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, 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, we will hold a further meeting or 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.

The date that any dismissal takes effect will not be delayed pending the outcome of an appeal. However, if the appeal is successful, the decision to dismiss will be revoked with no loss of continuity or pay.