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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 50161
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I am a small business owner, and need a bit of help. I have

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I am a small business owner, and need a bit of help.
I have an employee who hasn't contacted me or submitted a sick note, they have been absent from work since 4th March, can you advise me on where I stand
Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. How long have they worked there for and what are the likely reasons for absence? Please note I am due in some meetings now so will not be able to reply fully until early afternoon, thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
They have been employed for almost a year
They have had all their holiday pay except 5 hours
I could be illness but I haven't received any confirmation of this
Thank you for your patience. The starting point is that this is likely to amount to unauthorised absence from work because they have not advised you why they are not in work or taken steps to provide any doctor notes or other information about the reasons for being off work. So this could amount to a disciplinary issue which you can take further, up to dismissal if needed. The good news is that if they have been continuously employed at their place of work for less than 2 years then their employment rights will be somewhat limited. Most importantly, they will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that you can dismiss them for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as your decision is not based on discriminatory grounds (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, a disability, sexual orientation, etc.) or because they were trying to assert any of their statutory rights (e.g. requesting paternity leave, etc.). In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within these categories, then the dismissal will either be automatically unfair, or there will be a potential discrimination claim. The only thing you need to be careful about here is whether there was a disability reason for their absence. Disability does not mean they have to be a registered disabled and many long-term conditions, physical and mental ones, can amount to a disability in law. However, even with a disability, you can still take this further if you follow a fair procedure to cover yourself. This is your basic legal position. I have more detailed advice for you in terms of what you should do next to take this matter further, 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, there I no extra cost and leaving a rating will not close the question and we can continue this discussion. Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thank you this has been helpful
5* ratingCan advise how I proceed from hereRegards
Thank you. To start with you should contact her by whatever means you have and remind her that if she is off sick from work for more than 7 days she is required to provide you with a fit note not only to justify her absence but also to allow her to receive SSP. You must also advise her that failure to inform you of the reasons or communicate with you would make the absence unauthorised, which is a disciplinary issue. Say that you would of course like to avoid that and would like to give her the benefit of the doubt so she has 7 days to get in touch and tell you what is happening. However, if no communication takes place within that time you will have to consider taking things further. If you still have not heard back from her, you can consider terminating her employment, assuming there are no other ways you can find out what has happened to her. You should pay he the notice period she is due (minimum a week) plus any outstanding holidays and pay due for time worked, but if needed you can eventually dismiss – just ensure you give her an opportunity to resolve this first. thank you for the rating too, could you please click on the relevant stars to process that please, many thanks
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
My employee is not entitled to ssp as she only earns £104 per week for 16 hours work
ok that's not an issue then so you can ignore the SSP parts but the rest still applies
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Thanks you have been a great help
You are welcome, all the best