HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Long sick leave


Dear HR Practitioners,

We have some employees who are going on long term medical leave.

The leave period is about 3 months or more.

When he is medically fit to return to work as certified by a doctor:

1. Do we allow him to return to his old job OR

2. Can we redeploy him to another job?

Please share your views and comments by replying to this question and participating in the survey shown below.

We are in the manufacturing industry.

Thank you very much for your comments in advance.




HR Poll: When an employee returns to work after long sick leave, we

1. Allow him to return to his old job - 71.43%

2. Redeploy him to another job - 25.71%

3. Not sure what we will do - 2.86%






We will allow the return to the old role or new role subject to availability and suitability.




The doctor needs to certify his condition before returning back to work, i.e. whether he is fit to continue his job role.




We will assess his returning health condition in order to allocate the right job for him.




If an employee can no longer be able to return to his old job, the company can then redeploy him depending on his medical condition.




Hi Agnes

The above scenario is quite vague.

It really depends on what kind of illness, and when the employee returns, what are their health conditions.

If an employee is certified medically fit to return to work, it also depends whether this person is fit for light work or normal workload. if the person is fully recovered and fit for normal workload, there is no need to re-deploy them, unless during their long absence, their existing role had been reallocated to other employees due to the role cannot be left vacant for so long.

If the person is only fit for light work and the original work needs to carry a heavy load, then re-deployment is the feasible option. Making employee redundant should be the last resort where all other feasible options are exhausted.

Hope this helps.




I think it depends on whether he is still able to perform his previous role prior to his sick leave. The HOD/ HR may want to sit down with him to discuss the options available and it has to be mutually agreed upon and documented.




It all depends on his/her medical condition. Can the employee continue the same job? If can, we will allow. However, if the employee cannot, we look for an alternative job available in the company. Let the employee decides.




If he/she has been certified medically fit by a medical profession, the company should allow the employee to resume his role.

If re-deployment is being considered, it has to be a mutual agreement between both parties.

Thank you.




It very much depends on the job scope vs the health condition. If the old job scope requires him to perform some physical activities, it's better to seek for doctor's advice before going back to work in his old job.




The situation will depend on the manpower arrangements and if the employee can perform the same duties he/she was doing before the long leave. If it is not difficult to find a temporary placement to cover his/her duties during leave (ie. no special training/skills required), then the best option is to allow the employee to return to the old job.




Have a conversation with him prior to his return if he is medically fit to continue with his current role. If no, to try and redeploy to other roles that are more suitable for his condition.




Sack him/her




Allow him to return to his old job, if he still meets the "physical" requirements otherwise may deploy him to do other less "physical" work like admin etc.




To allow the employee to return and get better while at the same time, HR to get a medical report from his doctor on his improvements before making further decisions.



HRSINGAPORE | HR Community Message | Long sick leave


    Full Name*

    Job Title*

    Company or Organisation Name*

    Work Email Address*

    Contact Number*


    Your Message