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Doctor pockets £10,000 sick pay while moonlighting at two other hospitals

The junior doctor admitted to the scam but said she had stressful events in her personal life at the time -

Junior doctor, Tracy Landu-Landu, took four months sick pay from the NHS while moonlighting at two different hospitals.

Between August and December 2020, Landu-Landu claimed sick pay from her job as a GP specialty trainee at St Helens and Knowsley Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. She claimed occupational sick pay totalling £9,865.52.

In one month, Landu-Landu received £2,498.41 in sick pay while spending 15 days working at different hospitals in Lincolnshire.

At the Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service Landu-Landu, who lives in Grantham, was found guilty of serious professional misconduct and was suspended for nine months. She will also pay back the money within 18 months. 

However, Landu-Landu is set to keep her job and return to work next year following a review.

She admitted taking the money but said she had been suffering from stress due to events in her personal life.

Read more: Bank of Scotland employee fairly dismissed for year off sick

Tania Goodman, head of employment law at Collyer Bristow, said employers have a number of ways of making sure employees are not fraudulently claiming sick pay, including asking for a fit note, medical examinations and staying in touch regularly through longer absences.

Speaking to HR magazine, she said: “Employers have a level of freedom when deciding what medical evidence they require from absent employees, apart from that they can’t insist on a fit note for the first seven days in order to pay statutory sick pay. 

“Employers can ask, with employee consent, for their own doctor to medically examine the employee. Some employment contracts specify that after a certain period, the employee may be required to attend a medical examination or an interview with their employer. 

“When unsure of whether an employee is genuinely ill, it is good practice to stay in regular contact and maintain an accurate paper trail of correspondence in case there is later an investigation.”

If employers find out an employee has worked another job while off sick, Goodman said their response should be considered case by case.

She said: “Factors are taken into account when determining the extent of the misconduct such as whether the employee has deliberately concealed facts from their employer, whether the first job exacerbates the medical condition but the second job doesn’t.

“Employers could also consider whether duties are notably different and whether the employee was working during the hours they were supposed to be working for their other employer, or whether it was during a different part of the day.”

Read more: Moonlighting during a 'sickie'