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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 48201
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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I hope you can advise on my options and UK employment law as

Customer Question

For Ben JonesHiI hope you can advise on my options and UK employment law as applicableI have an individual who has been employed with just over two years working part time doing 30 hours a week. Age just under 60.We work for clients who use our services annually. We are busiest between September and February and more so between Nov and January.As we are small business we have limited resource in terms of people and space. When someone is absent it puts pressure on others as they have to do their work and do best to cover for person absent.We try to plan our holidays so as to limit the impact but when someone is ill for short periods and works part time. It can be hugely disruptive and our service to customers suffers, on whom we rely on recurring work. we potentially could lose the work or their confidence in our ability to provide reliable service that they are dependant on.In the two years that this individual has been employed there were 6-7 days absence due to sickness in the first year with single absence lasting no more than 4 days. In the second year the incidences of sicknesses have been higher totalling 9.5 days and on recent notification this person is not expected to return for another 12 days.Having worked a couple of day this week and appeared fine I was annoyed to learn that the individual is not expected to return for another 12 days.I don’t know what exactly is wrong but a Doctor's certificate is being sent.I was initially concerned with the persons capability issues (adapting to processes, attention to detail, planning etc). These seemed to have addressed with additional training and guidance. Such that with except of intermittent absence due to sickness or other family commitments work of last 3-4 months has been of acceptable standard and improving .To my knowledge there are no issues with the persons partner and children are grown up and settled. In the office the individual seems to be happy and gets on well with other staff and customers.My concern is I do not know what the illness is. What its impact will be in the future. I do know that unless I address the impact it is going to have on my staff and business, our service to customers will suffer. My staffs are already feeling the pressure of work and having to absorb more could result in one or two feeling quite dissatisfied and leaving.I could possibly recruit an experienced temp, but the cost will be at least 3-4 times the individuals hourly rate of £10 that i pay and the temp would need to have experience of our sector and software. They are not necessarily available or over qualified and thus cost even more. In the short term by the time one teaches and acquaints a temp with our processes and procedures , you may as well do it yourself as there is no guarantee that the same temp will be available again if need arises in the next few weeks or months.I assume as an employer I can ask this member of staff to give consent for me to speak to the Doctor to understand the illness and it's implication of the persons future attendance.Secondly can I express my concerns over impact the individuals expected absence is likely to have not just present but in the future particularly as work pressure mounts.I suppose I cant do anything until I know the precise nature of the absence, but if the absence could involve possible prolonged absences I assume I can terminate the employment out of concern of the impact of the individuals absence on the business and resources.To do this what would I need to do? Do I having received and assessed the impact write terminating the employment or warn that I may have to consider terminating if the absence is prelonged or recurs.I had said to the individual a few days back that we need to review and extend their hours after February owing to need delegate additional tasks that are currently handled by one of my staff so as to create more time for them to assist me with business development and respond to clients needs for additional support and advice.Would it be case of, if the individual is unwilling to extend the hours to make their job redundant and create new position?What if I try to recruited someone on part time basis for say two days a week and then after January create a new position with added responsibilities but shraed between 2 part timers as opposed to one. It will mean reducing this individuals hours from 30 to 20-22.5hrs to make the arrangement sustainable.
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

Have you had no indication at all previously of the reasons for the absences?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
No
Customer: replied 1 month ago.
BenI have a client at 5 for half an hour so my time is limited . Unless you can call me after 5.30pm on***********
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

No problem I will call after 5.30

Ben Jones and other Employment Law Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

In fact it would be best if you replied on here when you are available again and then I will call, thanks

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I can take your call now if convenient to call.
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 1 month ago.

I am just on another call at present so will call as soon as I can, thanks