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The importance of having a healthy sick leave policy

sick leave

A recent Employment Tribunal ruled that an employee was unfairly dismissed despite being seen drinking outside a pub while absent from work due to ill health.

The Employment Tribunal found that he had not breached any company policies as they did not prohibit employees from socialising when they were absent due to ill health. In addition, the Employment Tribunal held that there had been several flaws in the disciplinary investigation which fell below the standard of a reasonable employer.

This decision will surprise employers, but the ruling doesn’t mean that employers are unable to take disciplinary action against an employee they suspect has taken sick leave dishonestly. However, it does underline the need for employers to have in place clear policies relating to sickness absences and carry out a thorough investigation before taking disciplinary action which may include conducting back to work meetings to understand the nature of the sickness absence.

Loosemores can advise you on employment and HR matters. If you want to discuss the implications of this case or any other employment concerns that you may have please contact Karl Thomas, Partner and Head of Employment and Dispute Resolution at Loosemores Solicitors via ThomasK@loosemores.co.uk or call 02920 224433.

Loosemores offer a range of employment and HR services that you can access as and when you require. Please visit Loosemores HR for more details.

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