New Employee off sick for two weeks in first month of employment

Status
Not open for further replies.

Nichs

Free Member
May 3, 2018
5
0
I have a new starter that joined on the 16th April. She is full time and has so far only worked 3 days and has been off sick the rest of the time on two separate occasions. I want to get rid but HR say we have to be careful due to her having on going medical issues.

She suffers from endermatrosis and has admitted to coming off morphine a week before starting work. She thinks It is mainly this that has caused her to be ill .

She has mainly been off for being sick and then hospitalised due to low blood pressure due to not being able to eat.

She was then hospitalised for panic attacks and then started being sick again... on two of the days she did not contact me and I couldn't get in touch with her due to her being in hospital without her phone.

She has since been in touch to update me .

Surely we have grounds to dismiss her even with her on going medical issues.

Many Thanks
 

Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
It depends on whether her endometriosis counts a s a diability under the Equalities Act. She is recognised as suffering from a disability if she has a condition which substantially affects her normal day to day life and if it has lasted or is expected to last for more than 12 months.

You cannot just dismiss someone because of their disability you have to consider reasonable adjustments, which may include allowing them more sick leave than would be the case for someone suffering from a disability. It is the disability that matters not 'ongoing medical issues'.

Being unable to contact you because she is in hospital is not unreasonable, although being hospitalosed for panic attacks is unusual.

You have an HR department - use them. Discuss the benefit of obtaining an occupational health report before making any decision.
 
Upvote 0

Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
Did she make you aware of her problems during the Application Process, or did you ask directly?

Presumably you are not suggesting that, had she disclosed a disability during the application process, she would not have been appointed, are you? because, of course, that would have been immediately illegal.
 
Upvote 0

Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
If she was asked directly and lied, there may be an issue, both for the employer and the employee. If she wasn't asked, there is not.

More appropriately, she should have been asked how much working time she had lost to ill health over the last 12 months, assuming, of course, that she was working prior to taking this post.
 
Upvote 0

Chris Ashdown

Free Member
Dec 7, 2003
12,510
2,617
Norfolk
Is not your own HR responsibility, to be aware of all things, and to come up with a working solution to the problem, even if this means getting paid professional advice, rather than free opinions from a forum
I could understand the request from a small company without inhouse HR looking for free advice to move forward
 
  • Like
Reactions: kulture
Upvote 0
As an employer you have to make reasonable allowances under the circumstances, this is not classed as a disability, however under the circumstances you need to give her the benefit of the doubt, I am certain she would be feeling very stressed about this situation, so it would be wise to arrange a meeting at a time convenient for her to discuss her situation and return to work in a compassionate manner. You cannot fire someone on medical grounds though. You need to give her a chance to work in the role and prove her capabilities to meet the requirements of the role and follow due HR process if she fails to achieve targets required.
 
Upvote 0

Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
As an employer you have to make reasonable allowances under the circumstances, this is not classed as a disability, however under the circumstances you need to give her the benefit of the doubt, I am certain she would be feeling very stressed about this situation, so it would be wise to arrange a meeting at a time convenient for her to discuss her situation and return to work in a compassionate manner. You cannot fire someone on medical grounds though. You need to give her a chance to work in the role and prove her capabilities to meet the requirements of the role and follow due HR process if she fails to achieve targets required.

Err NO.

If she is not classified as having a disability you can sack her tomorrow, with 1 hour's notice, because she is in breach of her contract by not attending.

What benefit of the doubt should she be given? What doubt is there? She is unable to work due to ill health. Unless she is disabled she is not entitled to any reasonable allowances or anything else.

You can fire someone on medical grounds.

She has already failed to meet targets required - the target of regularly attending work.

The ONLY reason that care needs to be taken is because she MAY be classified as disabled.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • Like
Reactions: ethical PR
Upvote 0

Mr D

Free Member
Feb 12, 2017
28,630
3,561
Stirling
As an employer you have to make reasonable allowances under the circumstances, this is not classed as a disability, however under the circumstances you need to give her the benefit of the doubt, I am certain she would be feeling very stressed about this situation, so it would be wise to arrange a meeting at a time convenient for her to discuss her situation and return to work in a compassionate manner. You cannot fire someone on medical grounds though. You need to give her a chance to work in the role and prove her capabilities to meet the requirements of the role and follow due HR process if she fails to achieve targets required.

Not classed as a disability? Who is required to class it?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Upvote 0

Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
Not classed as a disability? Who is required to class it?

There is a definition of disability within the Equalities Act, I paraphrased it above.

Basically it is for the employer to decide (with advice from medical professions) if they should treat someone as disabled, and if they get it worng the Employment Tribunal will help them understand the error of their ways.
 
Upvote 0

Nichs

Free Member
May 3, 2018
5
0
I knew she had medical problems before she did say what she had but it was under control now with regular treatment. She had the experience to do the job.. my main problem is she has only rang me twice it's me ringing her a couple of hours after shift start which goes against company policy. Every time we speak she gives the impression she will be in the next day save for a couple of occasions, therefore leaving me in the dark about what is going on. On going medical issues aside and if care does need to be taken surely we have grounds to dismiss by not following absence policy. I've been in hospital before when I should have been at work and still managed to get a message across to let them know the situation.
 
Upvote 0

Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
I knew she had medical problems before she did say what she had but it was under control now with regular treatment. She had the experience to do the job.. my main problem is she has only rang me twice it's me ringing her a couple of hours after shift start which goes against company policy. Every time we speak she gives the impression she will be in the next day save for a couple of occasions, therefore leaving me in the dark about what is going on. On going medical issues aside and if care does need to be taken surely we have grounds to dismiss by not following absence policy. I've been in hospital before when I should have been at work and still managed to get a message across to let them know the situation.

It depends on how reasonable your absence policy is, and whether she has valid reasons not to have followed it.

I would still recommend discussing an Occ Health referral with your HR department.
 
Upvote 0

Nichs

Free Member
May 3, 2018
5
0
Ok update she was due to return back to work on Tuesday... didn't show and when I rang her she said doctor got date wrong and she should have been back on Wednesday.. send me a copy of doctors note by email.. the return date has been tipexed over and new date hand written when the rest is computerised... is this normal?

Then didn't hear from her Wednesday and today she emailed me to say she had been burgled and that's why she is off and couldn't contact us due to having her mobile pinched.. if it is true it is really bad luck but to me seems too much like a coincidence. Can we ask for a crime reference number and then check it with the police to ensure she is being genuine or would this be too insensitive. Bear in mind since she has been with us a month now and only in the office 3 days
 
Upvote 0

Newchodge

Business Member
Nov 8, 2012
16,221
4,584
Newcastle
Can we ask for a crime reference number and then check it with the police to ensure she is being genuine or would this be too insensitive. Bear in mind since she has been with us a month now and only in the office 3 days

Why on earth would you bother. Tell her that it is not working out. Pay her 1 week full pay notice and accrued holiday (she accrues holiday during sick leave) and tell her goodbye.

Sorry, just re-read the thread. What does your HR department recommend?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bob Morgan
Upvote 0

Chris Ashdown

Free Member
Dec 7, 2003
12,510
2,617
Norfolk
Are you sure you are not just looking for reasons not to dismiss her, as you are a inexperienced manager, and scared of making decisions, because that it what it sounds like.

Also you need to demand action by your HR department , who seem a waste of time, or you are not talking to the person higher up the chain of command, to get some action taken
 
Upvote 0

STDFR33

Free Member
Aug 7, 2016
4,711
1,269
Good employees still get sick. They can be sick shortly after starting a new job. That's life.

Other employees are sh1t and make excuse after excuse. This is one of those employees.

Stop dithering. Get them sacked and move on.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Bob Morgan
Upvote 0

Nichs

Free Member
May 3, 2018
5
0
Ultimately it's down to hr to issue the termination letter. I've told them she needs dismissing. HR have had legal advice to say that in her having endermatrosis she is protected under the equality act and we can only dismiss on performance not absence.. she has now been with us a month and has been in 3.5 days.


Even with her disability I find this unacceptable, we've offered flexible hours and as many breaks as she needs.

Hr have stated she is playing the system so we have to be careful. I think they are worried about her filing a claim for unfair dismissal but even if she did with all the points above considered surely she does not have a leg to stand on?
 
Upvote 0
Status
Not open for further replies.

Subscribe to our newsletters

ukbf logo
ukbf logo

Real community whatever your business.
Sign up to our full membership View Documentation

About us

  • Our community has been around for many years and pride ourselves on offering unbiased, critical discussion among people of all different backgrounds. We are working every day to make sure our community is one of the best.

Quick Navigation

User Menu