City businesses tackle the workplace ‘sickie’ at employment law seminar

October 4, 2019

Workplace absences cost British business £18billion per year. Despite this cost, one of the city’s leading employment law specialists has warned employers to tread carefully when saying ‘enough is enough’ with persistent absence.

Speaking to over 200 HR professionals and business owners at the annual Employment Law Seminar organised by Anne Corder Recruitment and Hegarty Solicitors, Martin Bloom unpicked recent cases and gave delegates advice on how to tackle the workplace ‘sickie’.

The seminar, at the Holiday Inn West Peterborough, is in its 22nd second year and, this year, welcomed a record number of delegates.

The event saw Martin explain, “every employer faces challenges with workplace absence, often coming down to them deciding whether dismissal would be fair. That can be a difficult path to navigate.”

Discussing some key considerations for employers, Martin said:

  • Employers should ensure someone speaks to an employee after every absence
  • It’s critical to remember every employer is under a legal obligation to make reasonable adjustment for disabled employees
  • Employers must be conscious of potential claims of age discrimination – particularly as there is now no default retirement age and a rise in age-relate ailments could cause increases in absenteeism.

Tim Thompson, partner at Hegarty Solicitors, also presented delegates with advice on protecting their employer reputation. With many businesses focussing on their employer brand, Tim advised they would be wise to clearly communicate expectations regarding staff behaviour to minimise any reputational harm caused by an unfair dismissal claim.

Anne Corder, joint organiser of the event and owner of local firm Anne Corder Recruitment, said: “This seminar is now a must-attend for HR professionals in Peterborough. Even 22 years on – and now much bigger than when it started – the event remains free to attend for our clients. The advice and guidance attendees get from Tim and Martin is invaluable.”

For those who missed out on the event, a series of smaller employment law lunch and learn sessions are being held at Anne Corder Recruitment, for their clients, over the coming months. For more information, call 01733 235298.