Sickness & Absenteeism

Regular absenteeism or long term ill health absences, are employment law areas employers frequently say are difficult to manage. Particularly where it might lead to a capability dismissal.

What to consider as an employer?

If you are involved in dealing with these types of issues, then the following (in summary) will usually need to be considered:

  • policies and contracts – ensure these are up-to-date with appropriate provisions
  • investigation (long term) – keep up to date, both from the employee and their medical practitioner
  • investigation (intermittent/short-term and intermittent) – consider whether there is any underlying cause (medical or otherwise). Do capability or disciplinary procedures need to be followed?
  • maintain regular contact – balancing the needs of the business with those of the employee
  • disability and reasonable adjustments – consider and investigate as necessary
  • alternatives to dismissal – review what other options there are.
  • PHI policy or ill health retirement – if you have this, can it now be utilised?
  • dismissal – up-to-date evidence is important and follow a fair dismissal procedure.

Depending on the situation it can take some time to reach dismissal, however, allowing it to drift does create additional issues both for termination or, where possible, a return to work is sought for the employee.

What next? How can we help you?

If a situation arises then get in touch with us so that we can talk through the options and processes. If you do not have contractual provisions or policies in place, or they haven’t been updated for a while, we can help review and draft anything you will need. You will receive advice from an employment solicitor.

To provide some useful information, whilst online, we have employment law checklists available. You can also sign up for regular updates.

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If you are an employee looking for legal advice in the Guildford, Godalming & surrounding area of Surrey, about ill health and possible dismissal, do contact us.  More information for you can be found here.