Personal Investigators and Employee Sickness

Posted in : How do I handle it NI on 23 March 2011
Sharon McArdle

One of my employees is on sickness absence and I suspect that he is not in fact unfit to come to work. Can we employ a private investigator and use the evidence at a disciplinary hearing? How do I handle it?

Sharon McArdle writes:

Workers have a legitimate expectation that they can keep their personal lives private. The use of a private investigator should only be used in exceptional circumstances. Before using a private investigator, employers should consider whether any other less intrusive methods of investigation suffice, in this case for example, using occupational health services.

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This article is correct at 06/08/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Sharon McArdle

The main content of this article was provided by Sharon McArdle. Contact telephone number is 028 9055 3300 or email

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