What if you can't get to the office

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by NigC, 3 May 2010.

  1. NigC

    NigC New Member

    Just out of curiosity, I was wondering if anyone knows the legal situation for when you can't make it to work.

    More specifically, I'm thinking of a mild injury that prevents you from cycling or walking, but not from driving (if you had a car) or doing your work.

    As it happens, my leg is a little sore at the moment, but I'm certain I'll be OK to cycle with it as it is. Besides that, I could, if really needed get to work by car or work from home. So my question is not related to my situation, more out of curiosity.

    Anybody know if you're legally able to take time off as sick leave in this situation?
  2. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    Not sure - but if you are able to get in and do the job then I doubt you could claim sick leave just because you couldn't get in by your preferred method. What was your employers take on people who didn't work when it snowed? I know my boss took the bus when she injured her hand and couldn't cycle so I think I would have to go by her example.

    It would be different if the injury somehow would make it dangerous for either you or your colleagues to carry out their work.
  3. gaz

    gaz Cycle Camera TV

    South Croydon
    We have portal cards. i can work from home. i also have VPN access
  4. Norm

    Norm Guest

    IMO, sick leave means you are unable to work, it doesn't mean you can't use your preferred method of commuting.

    I'm not sure that I'd be very sympathetic if someone said that they were off because they couldn't cycle in to the office, any more than I'd be sympathetic for someone who lost their licence and wanted to be away for 6 months.
  5. GrasB

    GrasB Veteran

    Nr Cambridge
    Its up to you to make sure you can get to work if you're well enough. I know someone who managed to negotiate, thanks to their rather important boss, staying in a colleges halls of residence during the week for 8 months because they were unable to afford to get to/from work by any other method from home.
  6. OP

    NigC New Member

    That's what I was thinking too - inability to make it to work is no excuse for not working. Just wanted to see if anyone had definitive knowledge :smile:
  7. PBancroft

    PBancroft Senior Member

    Might depend on what it is you do, and what alternatives are open to you (and how understanding your employer is).

    For example, its one thing to work from home if you have a desk job, quite another if you're an on site technician. What if you live in the back of beyond, don't own a car and there is no public transport within five miles?

    I think that if you "can't" make it in because of a cycling injury that wouldn't prevent you otherwise you might be expected to take annual leave. I suspect that the same would be true if your car broke down, for example... but then, your employer may look kindly upon you.
  8. OP

    NigC New Member

    This is precisely the reason I asked the question. My minor leg complaint simply highlighted the problem that others could possibly face. It seems like annual leave would be the sensible option, but may not always be possible (you may have taken your allowance for the year), so what then? Unpaid leave?

    I guess a heck of a lot depends on your bosse's attitude to the situation and the circumstances involved. It may also depend on company policy too.
  9. GrumpyGregry

    GrumpyGregry Here for rides.

    As a senior manager I'll just say +1 to all that. if you are fit for work you are fit for work; lifestyle choices as to your preferred commute aren't your employers problems.

    Of course, if they have good sense, and the nature of a person's work allows it, they will have sensible approach, even if not a formal written policy, to working from home.
  10. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    If injury/illness prevents you from working or indeed travelling by any transport then fine, although that can be a dark area.

    A colleague of mine once injured his leg during martial arts training - damaged is tendon badly enough to be in plaster. He was unable to drive, and due to the distance he lived from work, was unable to use any other transport. He did VPN in for a couple of weeks, but work put significant pressure on him. I offered to give him a lift for a few weeks until healed - this was a 15 mile detour for me each journey.

    So it's tricky, and depends upon extent of injury, and your employer
  11. cyberknight

    cyberknight As long as I breathe, I attack.

    Land of confusion
    My place will send some one to collect you if you have an injury and cannot get in but are capable of doing anything as it affects their lost time figures.They would rather have you sitting in the office cutting out shapes than have you off.
    Heck i broke my hand a few years back and they had me checking for paint defects all day on every door per car (looking at over 1200 doors a day is a great motivation to heal )
  12. Jaguar

    Jaguar New Member

    If I can't get to work, I can't work. I don't drive and a bus doesn't go there.

    (I used to be more dedicated: when I sliced (some of) the sole off my foot I got a taxi to work, but they wouldn't allow me to be seated all day. So next day I didn't go in at all)
  13. boydj

    boydj Guru


    Unless you are injured to the extent that a doctor will sign you off, then it is up to you to get yourself into the office if working from home is not an option - and how you do it is up to you.
  14. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

  15. Bandini

    Bandini Guest

    I usually tend to side with the employee - but come on! You get to work however you can!
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