We have an employee off sick who has not sent in a sick note. His sick note expired last week. We haven’t heard from him since, can we write to him inviting him for a disciplinary due to failure to contact the office?
The straightforward answer to this is yes
BUT the sensible answer for you as the employer is before you do that, pick the phone up and contact the employee. It’s an urban myth that you can’t contact employees who are off sick. In this situation a phone call could prevent a lot of unnecessary work for you and distress for the employee.
Any formal disciplinary process is time consuming and potentially damaging to the relationship between you and your employee. Anything that you can do to avoid unnecessarily going down this route makes good business sense. This situation could be something simple. The employee off sick who has not sent in a sick note may have put his sick note in the post and it hasn’t arrived. The employee is abusing the company sickness policy. It could be something as dreadful as the employee has died.
Has the employee off sick who has not sent in a sick note previously been told about the sickness reporting system? If no sick note materialises you need to do something. To not do anything condones the employee’s conduct. This can cause you problems by setting a precedent for how you will have to deal with similar situations in the future.
What can you do?
Check what your policies say about this situation.
What does their contract of employment say?
Have you issued these documents to the employee off sick? If you’ve not told him what to do how can you reasonably expect him to know?
You may wish to write to him giving him a deadline for submitting his sick note. Remind him that statutory sick pay is only able to be paid to employees who are off sick. Someone not covered by a sick note potentially may not be sick. In this case they may not be eligible to receive sick pay.
If this is not the first time that the employee off sick has failed to follow the correct reporting procedure what will you do? You may wish to go to a formal disciplinary hearing . If you go down this route make sure that you read you comply with your disciplinary policy when inviting the employee to attend.
Do you have a problem with an employee off sick who has not sent in a sick note? Do you have a more general problem with short or long term sickness absence? Need some help? Call Metis HR now on 01706 565 332 or email us for a confidential, no obligation initial consultation at no charge.