Issue: Long term sickness
An employee in a school went off sick and after 4 weeks hit the schools long term sickness absence trigger. A Senior Manager asked to see the employee for a sickness absence meeting after they had referred the employee for an occupational health assessment. This meeting resulted in the school agreeing to some reasonable adjustments but warning the employee that if the adjustments did not result in an early return to work and sustained attendance at work then further action may be taken under the sickness absence procedure. The employee then returned to work consistently for an 8 month period before again having a long term absence of over 8 weeks and the same procedure was followed by the same manger a second warning issued.
Advice was sourced by Hartley Laird at each of the stages and all documentation for communication was supplied and checked by Hartley Laird. At the 2nd sickness absence review a consultant from Hartley Laird was present as the schools HR representive. The employee was accompanied by their union. The consultant from Hartley Laird ensured that the employer communicated all the nessessary legal aspects of the hearing d worked within the policy and procedure of the business. The legal right of the employee and the employer were clearly communicated with both the employee and employer, incuding the nest stage in the absence procedure could result in the employees dismissal.
The employee had since returned to work and to date has had no further absences, but all parties are clear of their obligations. The employer engaged Hartley Laird to provide a training session on the management of both Short term and long term sickness absence.