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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48193
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hi Our nanny has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently

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Our nanny has been diagnosed with cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy. She insists on continuing to work but has taken days off when she was not feeling well. She is coming to work tired and I feel that I am putting my children at risk by leaving them with her (10mths and 3yrs old). I also never know if she will turn up for work next day which is another source of stress. Doctors have offered her to take sick leave but she refused. Can I ask her to take sick leave until she is cleared? Thank you

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.


Hi Ben

Ben Jones :

Please note that as a practising solicitor I am often in and out of meetings, travelling, or even at court when I pick your question up. This may even occur at evenings and weekends. Therefore, I apologise in advance if there is a slight delay in getting back to you. Rest assured that I am dealing with your query and will respond ASAP. You do not have to wait here and you will receive an email as soon as I have responded. For now please let me know how long she has worked for you?


almost 3 years

Ben Jones :

Many thanks for your patience. First of all as she has been diagnosed with cancer she is automatically classified as being disabled and that places a number of expectations on you as her employer.


You will have a duty to make reasonable adjustments if she is likely to be placed at a substantial disadvantage when performing her job.


What amounts to ‘reasonable adjustments’ can have a wide interpretation and often depends on the individual circumstances. Below are some examples of what could amount to a reasonable adjustment:

  • altering the employee’s hours of work;

  • allowing the employee to be absent during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or treatment connected to their disability;

  • acquiring or modifying specialist equipment;

  • providing supervision or other support.


What is reasonable will depend on the circumstances and if personally these adjustments are not reasonable, taking into account your position and other commitments then you would not be expected to implement them as long as you can justify why they are not reasonable in this specific case.


If no reasonable adjustments are possible and there is a health and safety issue where either the employee or others are potentially going to be exposed at risk of harm, you may suspend her on health and safety grounds. You need to say that this is done in order to maintain a safe workplace on her behalf. However, the suspension needs to be on full pay.


Thanks Ben


For how long do we have to maintain full pay? Can we claim any relief given that she is our only employee (I understand we can in the case of sick pay)?

Ben Jones :

Suspension pay when suspended on medical grounds is payable for up to 26 weeks. No relief as such is available but these will be subject to tax and NI

Ben Jones :

I hope this has answered your query. Please take a second to leave a positive rating, or if you are unhappy for some reason with the advice - please get back to me and I will assist further as best as I can. Thank you very much

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