HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Extended Hospitalization Leave


Dear HR professionals,

An employee was on Hospitalization leave for a period of over 2 months and has exhausted the due hospitalization, sick and annual leave. However, the employee has still been granted an additional sick leave for 2 months. Can the services of the employee be terminated by the company and if so on what grounds. Also what about the notice period?

Thank you




Reply 1

First of all, I suggest you find out from the staff how serious is the health issue that's preventing him/her to return to work for a further 2 months, what's the chance of recovery, etc and if he/she can still continue to do the job.

Depending on what's the company's policy on extended hospitalization for staff (taking the staff's length of service into consideration and work performance), you can then decide accordingly, e.g.

If the staff has served :
<1 year = extended hospitalization leave will be unpaid or only a small percentage be paid
>1 year but <x no. of years = a percentage of extended hospitalization be paid; the balance will be unpaid, etc, etc

As for termination, I don't think it is fair to terminate someone due to extended hospitalisation leave given by the hospital. You have to talk to your staff to understand the situation before making any recommendation to management.

Hope this helps you to make a good decision.




Reply 2

I closed at 60 days HL after talking to our staff and good for her to take a rest. We pay one-month notice pay too. Some companies continue to pay half pay for 6 months and offer another 6 months of no pay leave for critical illness case.




Reply 3

Can your employment be terminated for taking sick leave?

Sick leave is an entitlement to all eligible employees.

Termination of employment is a very serious matter which has wide-ranging implications for an employee. It should only be done after very careful consideration by employers and must be based on relevant and objective performance criteria. Employers should treat sick employees with compassion and should not terminate employment just for taking sick leave.

However, there may be situations where an employer assesses an employee to be too ill for the job, and where excessive or repeated absence adversely impacts the company's work. In such situations, the employer can terminate employment after giving due notice or pay in lieu of notice.

If used up all sick leave, Employer can:

-Allow extended no-pay leave for an agreed period.

-Make other working arrangements that are acceptable to both parties, such as re-assigning of duties.

-Obtain a medical assessment of whether staff can continue working.




Reply 4

The illness cannot be the ground of termination.

There are many considerations:

- Is the illness classified as a prolonged illness?

- Is the employee workmen hence protected under Employment Act?

- If yes, you will need to grant employee with leave for prolonged illness.

- Was the sickness or illness or injury as a result of work?

- Will his / her future ability to continue to perform her current job be affected as a result of the illness?

It will subject your company to questioning by MOM if not handled properly.