First Tuesday Q&A

The claimant was dismissed by reason of gross misconduct and in particular.

In relation to long term absence where you have had to employ a temporary worker to cover absence, can you request a minimum notice period before the absent employee returns to work?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/12/2011 While there is no legal right to request notice in these situations, you could ask the employee to give you a certain amount of notice of their intention to return. It is best practice, however, that this is discussed as part of your management of the long term absence situation. It is useful and a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence A-Typical Working

At what point can an employer dismiss on the grounds of capability an employee who is on long term absence due to illness?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/08/2011 To help minimise the risk of claims, an employer should generally only dismiss an employee in these circumstances once a capability procedure, including the minimum statutory dismissal and disciplinary procedures, has been fully followed. It's usually preferable to commence the capability procedure...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Unfair Dismissal Sickness and Absence Policies and Procedures

Can absence due to sickness be used as part of selection criteria for selecting an employee for redundancy or could this be viewed as disability discrimination?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 01/03/2011 Absence can be used as part of selection criteria. However, if it is, it is important that the reasons for sickness absence are examined to mitigate the risk of a disability discrimination claim. For example, if an employee has been absent because of disability, you may need to consider adjusting t...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Redundancy and Reorganisation Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

I have received a number of complaints that a member of staff has been coming to work with a bad dose of flu and passing it around the office. Should I have a policy in place for this scenario, and can I force this employee to go home and stay at home until fully recovered?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 04/01/2011 You are very unlikely to be acting unlawfully if you ask the member of staff to go home and stay at home until fully recovered, provided that you pay them for all of the time they are at home. Salaried employees are entitled to be paid their salary if they make themselves available for work, irresp...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Health and Safety Working Time and Leave

Can we discipline an employee for unauthorised absence as a result of a Christmas party?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 07/12/2010 In general, employers are lenient with staff returning to work after a Christmas party. You may feel, however, that if an employee calls in sick the day after the Christmas party, he or she is pulling a “sickie” due to the amount he or she drank the night before. You can treat unauthorised absence ...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Disciplinary and Grievance Issues

I have an internal soccer team who play against other companies in their own free time. How do you deal with injuries sustained in this hobby when they start to miss work due to the injuries?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/11/2010 Any injuries sustained during these types of events or hobbies, which result in an employee’s absence, should be dealt with under the company’s sickness and absence management policy (if available) as normal. These injuries should not be treated differently to any other injury or period of sickness...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

If we receive an employee’s doctor’s certificate late, can we withhold payment of SSP?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 03/08/2010 No, SSP cannot be withheld for late receipt of medical evidence. If an employee satisfies all the usual conditions to receive SSP and you have no reason to doubt their illness, SSP can be paid without medical evidence. Bear in mind that employees often have trouble getting appointments within the 7...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence

Can you request a medical certificate for less than 7 days absence if felt appropriate/required?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 06/07/2010 If you pay company sick pay, you are free to choose what evidence of incapacity you require. This means that you could, in theory, require a medical certificate for all absences as a pre-requisite of paying company sick pay, although this is rare. Generally speaking, however, self certification suf...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Policies and Procedures

In relation to the Pereda case, is it correct that it only applies in the public sector and can employees redesignate contractual leave as sick leave or is it limited to 28 days?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/03/2010 We covered the Pereda case in last September’s First Tuesday questions. By way of recap, Pereda v Movilidad was a European Court of Justice (ECJ) case where the court held that workers who fall ill during a fixed shut-down period are able to insist on having their leave reclassified as sick leave a...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Contracts of Employment Working Time and Leave

We are currently considering proposals to implement pay cuts throughout our organisation. What is the position of employees on long-term sick if their colleagues at work have their pay cut?

Posted in: First Tuesday Q&A NI on 02/02/2010 For those on long-term sick leave who are receiving statutory sick pay, they must continue to receive the minimum statutory level for as long as they are entitled under the statutory scheme. If contractual sick pay over and above the statutory minimum is being paid, then the employer can seek to ma...
This article is listed under the following topics:
Sickness and Absence Contracts of Employment Pay and Conditions of Employment