We sent a letter to an employee inviting her to a disciplinary hearing. We received a sick note by return, citing ‘stress’. What can we lawfully do to get the hearing underway? We suspect she is trying to avoid the situation – there’s no history of stress on her record.

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A NI on 1 November 2016
Chris Fullerton
Arthur Cox NI
Issues covered:

Employers must consider two main issues when an employee cites ‘stress’ during a disciplinary process. These have to be considered even if the employer is suspicious over the employee’s claim.

The first issue an employer must consider is whether stress, anxiety or a mental health issue could have contributed to the need for a disciplinary hearing. This is more likely to be a concern when it is the employee’s capability, rather than misconduct, which resulted in the hearing in the first place. If this is a possibility, employers must consider suspending the disciplinary hearing, or indeed dropping the hearing altogether.

If the employee is absent for a prolonged period of time the employer

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 01/11/2016

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 Chris.Fullerton@arthurcox.com

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