Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA)

A Medical Leave of Absence (MLOA) is a period during which an employee is legally entitled to be off work due to health-related issues. It's crucial for recovery and maintaining mental and physical health without the stress of job insecurity.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and Employee Rights

In the UK, employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), which employers are required to provide for eligible employees who are off work due to illness.

Eligibility Criteria for SSP

  • Employment status and adherence to company sickness policies.
  • Minimum earning threshold.
  • Proper notification procedures to the employer.

Employer Obligations for Medical Leave

Employers must:

  • Provide SSP for up to 28 weeks.
  • Maintain confidential medical records.
  • Ensure fair treatment without discrimination.

Navigating Medical Leave: Steps and Best Practices

  • Notification: Employees should inform their employer as soon as possible.
  • Documentation: Provision of a 'fit note' from a healthcare professional if the absence is more than 7 days.
  • Communication: Regular updates and discussions about the employee's condition and expected return to work.

Understanding Medical Leave Documentation

A 'fit note' is an official document from a doctor advising an employee on their fitness for work and any adjustments that might be helpful upon their return.

Long-Term Medical Leave and Employment Protections

For absences longer than SSP provisions, employees may be entitled to additional support such as company sick pay or disability benefits.


What conditions qualify for a Medical Leave of Absence?

  • Any health condition that renders an employee unable to perform their job duties, subject to medical verification.

Are mental health issues covered under Medical Leave?

  • Yes, mental health is as important as physical health in determining eligibility for Medical Leave.

Can employers deny Medical Leave if all criteria are met?

  • No, if an employee meets the eligibility criteria, they are legally entitled to Medical Leave and SSP.

What happens after the SSP period ends?

  • Employers and employees should discuss the next steps, which may include additional company support or exploring disability benefits.


A Medical Leave of Absence is a critical component of the UK's employment landscape, balancing the needs of businesses with the health and well-being of the workforce. Understanding these laws helps to foster a supportive and compliant workplace.

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