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There is nothing specific in law which states what the employee’s rights in this situation are, and most of the examples deal with their failure to attend a disciplinary hearing rather than just the preliminary investigation one.
If the employee is still absent after a period of time the employer may, subject to the employee's consent, obtain medical advice as to whether the employee is fit to attend a meeting and, if not, when they are likely to be.
The employer may decide that the matter can wait, but should ensure that matters are not allowed to drag on if the predicted return date is constantly being extended. Sometimes, in stress-related cases, employees or their GPs will assert that no return to the workplace is possible while disciplinary proceedings are "hanging over their head". In this case it is worth emphasising that fitness to work and fitness to attend disciplinary hearings are not the same thing.
Consideration can be given to alternative ways of conducting the hearing, such as by telephone, at a neutral place or location nearer the employee's home address, or even inviting the employee to submit written submissions and holding a hearing in their absence.
It I also worth noting that the employer’s consistent contact over this when they have been advised she is currently unfit to return could amount to harassment and she could consider raising a grievance over this.
Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you Hope this clarifies your position? If you could please let me know that would be great, thank you
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