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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 44874
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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What can I do as an employer do when a employee has taken

Customer Question

What can I do as an employer do when a employee has taken 20 weeks sick leave in 3 years ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified solicitor and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. What is the reason for the sickness absence?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Ranging from stress, anxiety to abdominal pain , every time she is off sick it can be up to 8 to 11 weeks. At this present time they have been off 3 weeks and the fit note says abdominal pains. Apparently awaiting a kidney scan. Can we ask for a more specific sick line? We feel after 3 weeks abdominal pain is not sufficient and we are approaching our busiest period.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, not sure if this has gone through correctly or are we still awaiting a response?
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, sorry there was a slight delay in getting your response, I have it now. Has he provided fit notes and what are you hoping to achieve in the circumstances?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello yes I have fit notes , what I would like to no , is how to say to this person that I'm concerned about the about the amount of sick time that has been taken off since they sarted working, if this continues what rights do I have as an employer when some one is off sick too much .
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
If you are looking at eventually dismissing an employee due to sickness absence, that is a potentially fair reason for dismissal under the Employment Rights Act 1996 as it would amount to a capability or even a misconduct issue. However, to justify it as being fair the employer needs to follow a fair procedure and act reasonably. First and foremost the employer needs to comply with any workplace sickness absence procedures and policies. For example these could list the number or duration of absences before formal action is taken. In any event, when considering the fairness of the employer's actions, a tribunal would usually look at the following factors:· Did the employer investigate the nature, extent and likely duration of any illness and consult the employee in the process· If absences are short-term and intermittent, investigating whether there is any underlying cause (medical or otherwise). If necessary, follow a capability or disciplinary procedure instead, offering practical guidance and assistance, setting timescales for improvement, and giving warnings where appropriate. Only continuous absences should threaten dismissal.· Before deciding to dismiss, consider surrounding circumstances, age and length of service of employee together with action taken in respect of similar situations in the past.· Consider importance of employee and/or the post occupied to the business, the impact their continued absence is having on the business and the difficulty and cost of continuing to deal with their absence.· Consider whether the employee could take up alternative employment or whether there are any other options that would avoid the need for dismissal.· If the employee has been absent long-term and is unlikely to return in the foreseeable future the employer should consider claiming under the terms of any Private Health Insurance policy or ill health retirement that is available. Dismissal must always be viewed as a last resort by the employer. Only when it is obvious that the employee cannot continue in their job and that there was nothing else available for them to do would dismissal become a fair option. The courts have held that an important consideration is whether any reasonable employer would have waited longer in the circumstances before dismissing the employee. So in the first instance you should arrange a meeting with the employee and advise them that you have concerns about the level of absences they have and that they are being placed on a capability procedure or issued with a warning that they must improve their attendance. Monitor it over a period of time and if it persists you can go to the next step, which would likely be a final warning, followed by a final period and eventually dismissal. It is also important to consider the additional rights someone would have if the condition that is affecting them amounts to a 'disability' as you will have certain duties and responsibilities. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of the law regarding disabilities and what you need to consider and do, which I wish to discuss so please take a second to leave a positive rating for the service so far (by selecting 3, 4 or 5 stars) and I can continue with that and answer any further questions you may have. Don’t worry, leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I see you have read my response to your query. Please let me know if this has answered your original question or if you need me to clarify anything else for you in relation to this? If your query has been dealt with please take a second to leave a positive rating by selecting 3, 4 or 5 starts from the top of the page. If you need further help please get back to me on here and I will assist as best as I can. Thank you.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 year ago.
Hello, do you need any further assistance or are you happy with the above response? Look forward to hearing from you.

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