Holiday whilst on sock leave

its been a while since I posted. I’ve gone through 8 chemo sessions and had bi lateral WLE surgery on the 28th June. I’ve had the all clear which is fantastic news, however I do still have to have radiotherapy which is due to start around the end of August. I managed to work, albeit from home and at a reduced capacity, throughout my chemo, however following my surgery I decided to take some time off sick to fully recover. My doctor has signed me off until my radiotherapy has finished and longer if needs be. As we have a few weeks until my radio starts we’ve decided to book a holiday for some well deserved family time, however, I’m a little worried as to whether or not work will get funny with me doing this and how I stand legally. Has anybody any experience or are there any HR professionals on here that may offer some advice? Hope everyone is doing well and coping with the weather! Thank you xxx

Sick leave even!!!

Hi Tracy,
Certainly others have gone on holiday as it can be considered as helpful for recovery. Obviously, it’s best to be discrete & avoid any fb or other social media issues.
Hopefully, others will be along to share experience on this.
After going through this, family time is definitely well deserved!
ann x

Tracy, have you had a chat with your doctor about this holiday, which sounds very important as a therapeutic exercise? If your GP agrees this holiday, including the nature of the break, is important for your recovery (which I would imagine he/she will), and is prepared to provide a note for your employer should questions be asked, I would hope you will be covered.


As has been suggested, it would be as well to avoid all social media over the period in question. It might help to keep a few notes of your own about your health, including your psychological needs, and how your break with your family is helping you. A quiet, relaxing, family holiday where you are being helped to get over some of the trauma of chemo, would be obviously therapeutic. A holiday in which you were running up and down mountains and partying until well into the small hours could well raise eyebrows! (I’m not seriously suggesting you would contemplate the latter.)


I’m a great believer in keeping notes and thinking ahead, without getting paranoid. I’m not a lawyer and am not attempting to give legal advice, but I would hope that a reasonable employer would recognise that your health needs are at the core of this, and a therapeutic holiday designed to allow you rest and recovery should be justifiable. Your GP’s support is likely to be significant.


All the very best

Hi Tracy. I think you have done amazingly well working through Chemo - well done you. You absolutely need this time to recover and recuperate and i think a family holiday is definitely part of your treatment and recovery. Would work know you were on holiday? You are on sick leave so there is no obligation to keep in touch. If you need to let them now I would just say that your hubby/partner has booked a much needed break for you all as you have been unable to go anywhere due to treatment.this was certainly true in my case and work were fine with that. If anyone objects just ask them would they like to swap places. Happy holidays chick - enjoy every minute xx

Thanks for that kitkat. I’m seeing the doctor this week so will definitely ask. Thank you once again xxx

Thanks Ali49 - it is a bit like that isn’t it! We normally have a couple of holiday every year but because of treatment haven’t been able to do that until now. My husband works abroad and therefore family quality time together is so important. I would happily use my holiday if I had to but I don’t see why I should as like you said it’s not been the easiest of journeys and I’m sure very few people would like to swap places! Thank you for coming back to me! Hugs x

Hi Tracy
I seem to remember from my days as an employee that if you are signed off as sick during annual leave, then the company is obliged to give back the holiday days. I’m pretty sure that as long as you are signed off you are covered. Hope you have a wonderful holiday.
Jacq x

I’m a recently retired HR bod and like most HR stuff ‘it depends’ in this case on your absence policy and on your Ts & Cs. Most good employers would expect you to take holiday whilst on extended sick leave, and as your holiday & sickness are related to cancer it’s automatically discriminatory to take any action against you. If I were you I’d phone your line manager, explain you’re going to be away to assist your recovery and ask if you need to take it as unpaid leave/ paid leave or whether its just more a case of pragmatically you’re sick but elsewhere? Good luck & enjoy your holiday.

Most good employers would expect you to take time on holiday whilst on extended sick leave, and as your holiday & sickness are related to cancer it’s automatically discriminatory to take any action against you. If I were you I’d phone your line manager, explain you’re going to be away to assist your recovery. Being well enough to go on holiday is not the same as being well enough to work! well done for working through chemo & enjoy your holiday. They cannot make you take is as annual leave, unless you want to, think of it as being poorly somewhere else rather than ‘holiday’.