The requirement to provide a fit note for absences over 7 days only applies for your right to get Statutory Sick Pay. So if you do not provide any fit notes for any absences longer than that, it means the employer is not obliged to pay you any SSP. It does not mean you have breached any laws.
They may have their own rules about what you have to provide them with if you are absent after a specific period of time and if you have failed to follow these then it would be a failure to abide by their own rules and procedures.If that is the case they could treat it as a misconduct matter if they wanted to and potentially discipline you.
The main issue here is that whatever you have done, even if not that serious, leaves you in a vulnerable position if they wanted to take it further, even up to dismissal.
That is because if you have been continuously employed at your place of work for less than 2 years then your employment rights will unfortunately be somewhat limited. Most importantly, you will not be protected against unfair dismissal. This means that your employer can dismiss you for more or less any reason, and without following a fair procedure, as long as their decision is not based on a reason which makes a dismissal automatically unfair. These include:
· Discrimination due to a protected characteristic (i.e. because of gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, etc.)
· Taking, or trying to take, leave for family reasons including pregnancy, maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, childbirth and parental leave
· Making a protected disclosure (i.e. whistleblowing)
· Being a part-time worker
In the event that the reason for dismissal fell within any of these categories, the dismissal could be automatically unfair and there could also be a potential discrimination claim.
However, if the dismissal had nothing to do with any of the above exceptions then you would not be able to challenge it. In that case your only protection would be if you were dismissed in breach of contract. That could happen if you were not paid your contractual notice period (unless you were dismissed for gross misconduct) or the employer had not followed a contractually binding dismissal procedure. If you did not have a written contract in place you would be entitled to the minimum statutory notice period of 1 week. Your employer would either have to allow you to work that notice period and pay you as normal, or they will have to pay you in lieu of notice.
I hope they will not dismiss but just be aware of it. For now, try to get a fit note as soon as you can just so they have no reasons to take it any further.
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