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taratill, Solicitor
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 6472
Experience:  15 years experience of advising on employment law matters
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Hi, can you tell me what rights an employer has in the following

Customer Question

Hi, can you tell me what rights an employer has in the following circumstances - an employee is signed off sick for two weeks for a skin and subcutaneous tisse infection. The role carried out by the employee is a telephone/office based sales role. During the time off sick the employee travels 400 miles to attend a birthday party (where there are other work colleagues). Does the employer have the right to challenge this? and or take any action?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Employment Law
Expert:  taratill replied 5 years ago.
Hello and welcome to Just Answer, how long has the employee worked for you and were they stigned off sick by their doctor?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

three years, and yes signed off sick for two weeks by the doctor, at the time of the party had been off for one of the weeks.

Expert:  taratill replied 5 years ago.
You can certainly raise a concern about this and potentially you could discipline the employee.

When they return to work you should hold an investigation meeting to ask why it was possible fo the employee to attend a party but not to attend work. You can also ask permission to write to the employees GP to ask whether in the GP's opinion the employee was well enough to attend a party whilst signed off sick.

If you are not satisfied with the responses then you can consider taking disciplinary action. You should note that in some cases where an employee is signed off sick it would be inappropriate to discipline them for particpating in leisure activities, this is particularly the case where the illness is stress related or where the employee is recovering from the condiiton.

At this stage it is impossilbe to say with certainty. I would advise you investigate and when you have a clearer idea of what has happened come back to me for futher advice.

If you were to dismiss now without investigating thoroughly then it is likely that a tribunal would find the disimissal to be unfair.

If you have any further questions please ask. If I have answered your question I would be grateful if you would give my answer a positive rating.