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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
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Can I be given a written warning calling in, 1 day

Resolved Question:

Can I be given a written warning for not calling in, 1 day out of 5, even after 10 years of service !
I was off work due to my daughter having chicken pox and they day I missed her temperature hit 40, so I took her to A&E
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 2 years ago.
Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is ***** ***** it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Did you tell your employer at all that you were not going in?

Customer:

On the Monday I called in told him of the situation. We spoke about me trying to come in at the end of the week and I agreed to make arrangements to allow me to get in to work. On the Wednesday my daughters condition worsened, so I took her to the GP, who told me that it was the worse case of chicken pox the had seen and called in 2 other GP to check. They agreed that if her temperature got any higher than 37.4 (which it was at the time) I should take her A&E. By 3pm her temperature was 39.4, so I took her to the hospital.

Customer:

Due to the worry I forgot that day (Wednesday) to call in. I did call in on the Thursday and explained what had happened. I went back into work on the Saturday and again yesterday (Monday) When he called me in the office, told me I couldn't take the time off as annual leave and issued me a warning - I want to know what my rights are as although I have been employed for 10 years I have never been given a contract

Ben Jones :

Whilst there were reasons as to why you did not call in sick, you still should have made attempts to contact your employer because without calling in sick and the employer knowing you were going to be off that could amount to unauthorised absence from work and be a disciplinary matter. It is why you have been issued with a written warning. The employer should have taken you through a formal disciplinary hearing before hey can issue that so if they have not then you are certainly able to appeal it on those grounds. You also have the right to appeal it anyway so if you want to you have nothing to lose by submitting an appeal and using the circumstances around the situation as reasons to appeal. However, if he appeal is rejected you cannot do much apart from maybe raise a grievance over this. The final option i to resign and claim constructive dismissal but I would not recommend that here as it will be risky

Customer:

So even though I called in 4 days out of 5, I can still be in trouble for unauthorised absence ?

Ben Jones :

unless you were authorised to take all these days off, then not calling in for a day you ere expected to be in work would amount to that yes

Customer:

It's a bit harsh, as I did explain on the Monday my situation. My initial conversation explained that I would need the whole week off. My employer did ask for me to try to get in towards the end of the week, which I agreed I would try to do. My daughters health then got worse and it left me with no choice but to stay home with her

Ben Jones :

you have the right tot take off time in such situations but you must also contact the employer if they were expecting you in. As mentioned you can appeal and have nothing to lose by doing so

Customer:

Ok thanks for your help

Ben Jones : You are welcome all the best
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