Question: I recently made a phone call to an employee who is currently off sick. During the phone call the employee got really angry and threatened me with legal action for harassment, claiming that I am not allowed to contact him. Does the employee have a case?
Answer: You are absolutely allowed to make contact with an employee when they have been signed off work. Moreover, you have a ‘duty of care’ to make sure you keep in touch and check how they are doing. Keeping in touch, however, does not mean a daily phone call, as that would be classed as harassment.
When making contact with a sick employee, it should be focused on their wellbeing and compassionate about any reasonable adjustments they may need to return back to work, and not just about when they are returning to work.