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Applying for another job when on sick leave?

Discussion in 'Career clinic' started by LGD0808, Oct 16, 2015.

  1. LGD0808

    LGD0808 New commenter

    I posted last week about wanting to leave teaching. I am currently off work on sick leave for a medical reason. During this time I have seen my dream job advertised. And it's nothing to do with education or teaching. I really want to apply for the job but the closing date is next week when I am still on sick leave. I don't know what to do? Am I allowed to apply for a job while I am on sick leave? I am hoping to return to school after half term but thinking the interviews could be held during half term when I am technically on sick leave. Please can anyone advise me if I can apply for a job whilst on sick leave? Thank you.
  2. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    According to ATL, the answer is no. You could be subject to disciplinary action at your school if you attend an interview whilst signed off.

    If you do go, and you are offered this post, the earliest you can leave is Christmas.

    You say you are hoping to return - remember you still need this school to write a reference even if you are leaving education.

    I suggest you contact your Union and talk to them.
  3. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Well, I think that you can apply actually, @CWadd ! But you cannot go to the interview while you are on sick leave - unless your Head gives permission.

    Even if the interview is during half term week, when you have no school commitments, you cannot go because you are on sick leave, says ATL - I am going to attach the document for you. But you can ask your Head for permission, and if s/he agrees, then that is fine.

    However, if you are NOT on sick leave, you may attend an interview during half term without asking for permission, so if you are really intending to return after half term, then get your Dr to declare you fit to return to work on the Saturday of half term.. Then you can go to the interview with no problems!

    If the interview is after half term, you will have to ask permission nicely from the Head - they are not obliged to let you go, but they usually do.

    And as CWadd says above:

    So make sure that the new employer knows that you cannot start before the end of term. If they really want you, they'll wait!

    Best of luck!


    Attached Files:

  4. LGD0808

    LGD0808 New commenter

    Thank you so much for your feedback and advice.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Do ATL say that? They say "Sick leave should not be used to attend job interviews", not specifying whether that applies to term time only or holidays as well. I agree OP should take advice from their own union but I wouldn't have thought you need the head's permission to go to interview during half term if you are off sick. It might be unwise if it was incompatible with the reason for your sickness (which ATL do go on to say) but many reasons why you are unfit to work as a class teacher in your school wouldn't mean you were unfit to go for a job interview - stress for example.

    Some of ATL's other advice contradicts official guidance. eg, ATL's advice that when you are off sick your employer shouldn't contact you without your agreement. There was a post here not long ago which linked to both ACAS and HSE guidance that contradicted this.
  6. TheoGriff

    TheoGriff Star commenter


    Yes but . . . @Rott Weiler

    Sick leave isn't 9-4, Mon-Fri, term time.

    Suppose you went teaching at evening classes when on sick leave from your daytime job in school . . .


    Sort of thing that gets you in the newspapers!


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