Sickness Absence

Long Term Sickness Absence

To avoid an unfair dismissal claim, a discrimination claim related to disability, or a claim for breach of contract, employers should ensure that they have adhered to the following before dismissing an employee:-

  • Allow the employee a reasonable time to recover. There is no rule of thumb as each case is assessed on its merits. Certainly, dismissal during the period an employee is covered by contractual sick pay or health insurance should be avoided as successful cases have been brought for breach of contract in these circumstances.
  • Requisition a medical report. Should the employee’s consent not be forthcoming, a tribunal would take this into account when adjudicating.
  • Discuss the employee’s condition with them in depth to ensure that all the facts have been established.
  • Consider reasonable adjustments to the workplace, including any that have been suggested by the employee themselves.

Persistent Short Term Non-Attendance

Employer’s are entitled to set reasonable standards for attendance and breach of the absenteeism policy, even for valid reasons, can constitute reasonable grounds for dismissal. The following should be incorporated into the policy to ensure its fairness:-

  • The employer should discuss the employee’s absenteeism record with them to ascertain its cause. If appropriate, the reason(s) given should be investigated and advice from a medical expert taken. This will ensure that the employer has done everything in its power to assist the employee and make all reasonable allowances for their attendance record
  • A first and then a final written warning should be provided prior to the dismissal.

Taking A Case To Tribunal

Should you require advice on sickness absence or in relation to an Employment Tribunal matter, then please call one of our solicitors immediately on 0333 3010 700 or complete the questionnaire on the right hand side of this page.

Settlement Agreements

Should you have been offered a Settlement Agreement (which used to be known as Compromise Agreements) which you require independent advice on, then please call one of our employment law solicitors immediately on 0333 3010 700, or complete the questionnaire on the right hand side of this page. We will then arrange an appointment with you to go through the Settlement Agreement.