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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 50202
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
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I am writing to ask if an employer can override a Dr s

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I am writing to ask if an employer can override a Dr s advice not to work. A few months ago my daughter fell from a horse injuring her back she was signed off work by a Dr . She has just had a disciplinary meeting resulting in her being given a written warning for her absence. I am at a loss to see that this is a fair way to treat employers.
Kind Regards *****

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

How long has your daughter been employed at her current place of work?

Hi there. Thank you for your request for a phone call. I am unable to talk at the moment as I am in court for the rest of today. However, if you provide the information requested, I will review the relevant information and laws and get back to you as soon as I can. Please do not respond to this message after you have provided the information as it will just push your question to the back of the queue and you may experience unnecessary delays. Thank you

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Kerri has worked for the company 13 months .
kind regards
HazelI am happy to continue to correspond this way a phone call won't be necessary as I too are not always available .

Hi there, this is not really a case of overriding a doctor’s note. Absences from work can amount to misconduct, even if supported by a doctor’s note. For example there are many examples of disciplinary action and even dismissals of persistent or prolonged absences which have been backed up by doctors’ notes.

In any event a doctor’s note is just a professional opinion by someone who has seen the employee and made an opinion based on the information given to them. We all know that we can get a doctor’s note even if there is nothing wrong with us. I am of course not saying that there is nothing wrong with your daughter but I am just highlighting that notes are just an opinion based on information which the employer cannot back up and are advisory. The employer has no legal obligation to accept a doctor’s note and they can ask that the employee provides other evidence as required or they could be required to see a different specialist.

The issue here is also that she has less than 2 years service. In these circumstances it is very difficult for her to challenge potentially unfair treatment like this. She can raise an internal grievance but she can be dismissed as a result because she needs 2 years service to be protected against unfair dismissal. So she needs to think carefully bout how much to challenge this based on the risks she potentially faces.