Excessive Time off Work?

Wednesday 16 May 2018

What do you do when your employee is taking excessive time off work? - Advice from Qdos HR

You may find that you have employees who are on long-term or short-term sickness where they are taking numerous days off work which is having a significant impact on the team and business. Before you can dismiss an employee, employers must follow a fair procedure to avoid risk for example disability discrimination or unfair dismissal claim.

In all absence management procedures the first action to take is to monitor your employees’ absence and check for any patterns of absence. For example, during particular events or whether it is the same day that the employee is taking off each week. Identifying these trends in absences, will allow employers to rectify the issue. Gather the information which will form part of the investigation.

The second action to take is to conduct a return to work interview for each absence so that you can find out the main reasons for absence. Employers must consider whether there are any underlying issues or any medical conditions the employee may have made you aware of. This will enable the employer to apply a suitable absence management process.

Having a robust sickness policy will help employers deal with absences consistently and effectively and will allow the employer to set expectations to their employees. Having a clear policy which outlines the procedure for both employer and employee to follow where an employee is sick is important to ensure absence is authorised and managed effectively and consistently.

In some cases, it may be appropriate for an employer to seek medical evidence to ensure the employee doesn’t have any medical conditions that could potentially fall under the Equality Act. Where the employee is absent due to a disability, the employer must avoid discrimination and should consider what reasonable adjustments they can make. The dismissal of a disabled employee that is related to their disability would be unlawful discrimination unless justified and the employer can show they have followed due process.

It is important to note that each case must be dealt with on an individual basis.

Please contact Qdos for advice on the next steps to avoid risks associated with this.

Alternatively, please visit our Resource Centre where you will find more information regarding Attendance Management.

Arti Patel, HR Business Partner, Qdos HR
Arti has a strong background in HR and is a fully qualified CIPD member. She has worked with challenging casework and has a good understanding of how to deal with workplace matters as they arise.

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