How should we manage an employee who has been absent from work three times on a medium to long term basis?  The employee has not communicated a reason for absence but we suspect it is due to poor mental health and a possible risk to himself.

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 5 April 2016
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered:

As a starting point, you should always refer to any sickness absence procedure you have in place. This should be contained in the employment contract or the Company Handbook. It is important that the employee’s absence is dealt with in accordance with the applicable procedure. We strongly recommend that employers have an effective sickness absence policy in place as this helps deal with situations such as this, as well as putting employees on notice as to the standards of attendance and reporting that the employer expects from them.

Although the employee has not communicated to you the reason for their absence, you should seek evidence from the employee as to the reason for their incapacity

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 05/04/2016

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.

Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI

The main content of this article was provided by Chris Fullerton. Contact telephone number is 028 9023 0007 or email

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