Employment Laws (UK)?

Can you be 'let go' because of a high record of absence whether they were covered by a sick note or unauthorised?

Thanks in advance for answers

7 Answers

  • photog
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Yes you can. Employers want people who will be at work not of sick or something else.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The employer should be able to demonstrate that the dismissal is fair and, in practice, many HR departments use something called the Bradford Factor which is an imperfect but acceptable way of monitoring absence.

    Up until this year, there was a rigid requirement for employers to follow a statutory procedure with failure to do so rendering the dismissal automatically unfair. The reintroduction in the Employment Act 2008 of 'Polkey' principles holds that failure to follow procedure is no longer automatically unfair dismissal and that an Employment Tribunal may reduce any award by up to 100% if following procedure would have made no difference to the outcome.

    One overlooked possibility which might exist is if all of the absences have been caused by a disability - if this is the case, it's a foolhardy employer who would dismiss the employee without demonstrating that all procedures had been followed.

    If it's a variety of reasons, though, the employer's decision to dismiss would be easy to justify. In my opinion.

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  • You can be dismissed due to high absences, and it's irrelevant if these are self-certified or certified by a doctor - the former is considered just as genuine, as you have an expectation of trust in your conduct as an employee.

    The issue for the employer is whether you are performing the job for which you are being paid, and if the conclusion is no, you can be dismissed for your poor performance.

    Any dismissal should be handled through a disciplinary procedure, so the employee will normally be given details of what improvements are necessary before any dismissal is likely.


    Source(s): Employment law consultants
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  • 1 decade ago

    Alan b is talking crap, it is very difficult for an employer to get rid of people, as they have to go through several stages of warnings etc. They can only dismiss people if they do something illegal or against their contract. If you are off sick and covered by a sick note, then you can't be sacked, they may hold an inquiry when you return to find out why you are always ill, and even send you to a doctor they choose. If you are taking unauthorised days off, then they can warn you, and go through the normal written warnings which could end up with dismissal. Many companies have a maximum number of days you can have off without a doctors note, after this you cannot even self certificate even for a single day.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Alan B and mike-from-spain are both partly right and partly wrong. It is very difficult to dismiss someone due to ill-health, but the answer is yes, it can be done, even if you are covered by a sick note.

    The employer would have to show that your ill-health was such that you could not do your job as required. To protect themselves against an unfair dismissal claim, they would also need to "go the extra mile" by taking all reasonable steps to help you manage your medical condition, find out the extent of your illness (this could include obtaining copies of your medical records), offer alternative work if appropriate and generally support you. If, after all this, you are still not capable of doing your job due to your medical condition, this would qualify as a fair reason for dismissal under the head of capability (s98(2)(a) Employment Rights Act 1996).

    Alternatively, if your employer believes your condition is not genuine - that is, they think you have lied to them about being ill - this would also be a fair reason for dismissal under the head of conduct (s98(2)(b)). Here the employer will need some evidence: for example they may ask you to undergo a medical examination to detemine whether you are genuinely ill. They could not force you to undergo such an examination, but you are unlikely to have a case against them for unfair dismissal if you refuse without a good reason.

    I should add that as well as knowing the theory of this from my legal studies, in my previous career as a manager I have also seen someone dismissed in this way in "real life", so I know it can be done! It took nearly a year of meetings, investigations, offers of alternative employment etc though...

    Source(s): graduate diploma in law / LPC graduate studying for masters degree in law (employment law specialist)
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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes. Though normally your employer's disciplinary code would require them to hold a formal interview over your excessive absence first, no-one is required to keep an absentee on the books indefinitely.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Unfortunately these days there are no employment rights in the UK

    Any employer can get rid of you even if there is no reason, and there is nothing you can do about it.

    Employers know that it can take 2yrs for a case of unfair dismissal to come before a tribunal.

    Any money that you receive in terms of income rom a new job or benefits is deducted from any compensation that you may receive.

    All you can really do then is to move on.

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