New Employee Sickness

Discussion in 'General Business Forum' started by Andres78, Feb 10, 2021.

  1. Andres78

    Andres78 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    49 1
    Hello all.

    We took on a new employee end of last month. In his second week at the beginning of Feb he took a week off sick and then the following Monday also. All the while, saying he'd be in Wed, then Friday and finally on Monday morning very sorry he'll be in Tue as he's been told to take a covid test which supposedly came back negative.

    Obviously this changing of duration of sickness caused me more hassle than if he'd have told me he needed a month off for a broken toe as I had to re schedule our workload, my quotations etc etc x3 times.

    His contract stipulates more than 3 days off sick requires a note. I haven't received one. I was working on another site today so I haven't seen him so I texted him this eve reminding him to bring his note in tomorrow. No reply. I'm fairly certain I'm going to get some BS about as to why he hasn't got one, to which I will reply, that's fine, just bring in your negative covid result. My gut is telling me this will bring us to an impasse.

    Obviously being in probationary period and not fulfilling his contractual requirements means I can sack this seemingly likeable and hard working chap but I'm really after feedback. Mine is a micro business of 4 full time staff it's vital I keep taking on very good personnel and this is a terrible start.

    Just after some other people opinions really. Bare in mind he has been back 2 days now and I would think any normal person, who was genuine, in this sort of scenario would have thrust a sick note into my hands on the moment of return.

    Thanks
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2021 By: Andres78 Member since: Feb 21, 2013
    #1
  2. WaveJumper

    WaveJumper UKBF Enthusiast Free Member

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    My first thought is If someone is absent due to sickness for 7 calendar days or less (including weekends), they do not need a fit note (the new name for a doctors certificate) it's called ‘self-certifying’ their sick leave. They should still be paid the amount of sick pay that’s in their contract so not sure that your employee contract can over rule this. I know someone with a lot of HR experience will be along very soon and point you in the right direction as you could quite easily end up with a tribunal case here if not handled correctly. Tread very carefully until then.
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2021 By: WaveJumper Member since: Aug 26, 2013
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  3. Andres78

    Andres78 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    49 1
    Thanks for info.

    This is not about avoiding paying sick pay though. Despite it being a sting for 2nd week on the job. It's more about figuring out where I go from here with this member of staff.

    So let's say you're correct and the "fit" note turns out to be a moot factor. The covid test result should surely be available to this person and if it were, he could, and should want to present it. I just have a feeling in my gut that I've been taken for a ride right off the bat and I want to elucidate if this is the case.

    I understand the logic for a 7 day respite period before obtaining a fit note. Obviously you can't often even see a GP on that short notice so it makes sense. But from a practical point of view, most people are sick for 1-3 day at a time under normal circumstances. This 7 day period would allow someone to be very very regularly sick without any evidence if they were to abuse it.
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2021 By: Andres78 Member since: Feb 21, 2013
    #3
  4. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Negative test does not mean someone is well. Just means they have a negative test.
    Can have covid or something acting very much like it and still have negative test. More than once.

    Getting a fit note after 3 days seems harsh. Most places seem to get one after 7 days, and first 3 days of sick are unpaid.....



    If I rang my surgery for a fit note I could probably get one now in about a week. Somewhat busy with normal work plus vaccination off site .... Could be longer even.


    If you want him then work with him. Or sack him and get someone else. Who may also at some point be sick or have to isolate.
     
    Posted: Feb 10, 2021 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #4
  5. Andres78

    Andres78 UKBF Contributor Free Member

    49 1
    I'm not wanting to see his Covid negative test to prove he was well enough to work. I just want to see it for evidence that he actually did have a test and wasn't just chilling out round the house or working for someone else.

    I don't know whether I want him yet of course. We are now in week 3 of his employment, or day 13, of which he has had 6 off sick. I have no idea what kind of person I'm dealing with yet.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2021 By: Andres78 Member since: Feb 21, 2013
    #5
  6. bodgitt&scarperLTD

    bodgitt&scarperLTD UKBF Enthusiast Full Member

    505 240
    Get shot of him.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2021 By: bodgitt&scarperLTD Member since: Nov 26, 2018
    #6
  7. Newchodge

    Newchodge UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    It is unreasonable to ask for a medical note for anything less than 7 calendar days' absence as the employee would have to pay for it. However, this employee was absent for 8 days. So insist he get a medical note. He can get one by telephoning the surgery and explaining the circumstances, so that won't tell you anything.

    The negative test is more useful. If he does not have one, he is untrustworthy and should be sacked immediately for attendance issues. If he has one you need a discussion about reporting procedures.

    It is difficult for a member of staff who wants to attend work but does not feel well enough. They may believe their symptoms will clear within a couple of days, but they cannot know that for certain, so try to give the most optimistic estimate of return.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2021 By: Newchodge Member since: Nov 8, 2012
    #7
  8. Paul Norman

    Paul Norman UKBF Ace Free Member

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    All of this.

    But to add to it, as an employer I would be engaging with someone poorly enough to be off sick for a whole week. Nicely, of course.

    And that would help me to assess what to do next. If it is all genuine, and in another week the person is likely to be well, I would want to be supportive.

    If I had any doubts, this early in the relationship, we would be parting company.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2021 By: Paul Norman Member since: Apr 8, 2010
    #8
  9. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    One of my previous employers had a requirement to ring in before 8am to report sick. They stuck to that policy regardless - hence I was nipping to the toilet at work, getting my phone out of my locker and ringing from the loo before 8am in order to ring in sick the next night.
    They really didn't like it the times I rang in sick at 4pm - soon after getting up for a shift.
    Disciplinary meetings every time I did that.
     
    Posted: Feb 11, 2021 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #9
  10. Talay

    Talay UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    Sick in the first weeks ? Fired on the spot.
     
    Posted: Feb 13, 2021 By: Talay Member since: Mar 12, 2012
    #10
  11. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    First instinct is this is pretty poor and should be out the door.
    But I remember in my first proper job I worked for a bank in a call centre. I took nearly 3 weeks off on holiday once, I came back and did about 4 days work and ended up being off for nearly 2 weeks with a sore throat (I literally couldnt talk) as I was not used to talking for 8 hours a day - I offered to go in and do scanning and faxing etc, but they told me to just stay off. Admittedly I had been there for a year by then and my boss knew me.

    But had that been the 4th day of starting to work there, it would have looked pretty bad. Is the illness just him getting used to the working environment? Is it working in a cold warehouse for example? If so, it might be worth suggesting he takes something like barocca to keep his immune system up and running (just an example).

    I agree though, the covid test should help you work out if he was lying or not, for me that would be the deal breaker.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #11
  12. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    Bear in mind guys, the main covid test is a flow test, wipe a swab around your nostrils or throat, into a liquid onto a tab, wait 20/30 mins for result. Everyone I know takes these without any official supervision what so ever.

    I don’t know if you get paperwork from Doctors since mine hate anyone going in anyway, but whilst awkward I would give the guy the benefit of the doubt this time. You can ask for a fit note as mentioned but I think you will have to take the covid test on his word.

    Maybe there is more behind this concern, but we are in the middle of a pandemic atm, this could happen a lot and most doctors will not provide such proof easily atm, unless it is standard practice. My wife had both a home test and an “official” test to confirm being positive, she had everything confirmed over the phone, no paperwork of any kind. She went to a large testing hospital specialising in these tests.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
    #12
  13. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    Really?
    Everyone I know goes to a testing center and does it, handing in the test at the end. Then get a text and an email about 12 hours later with the result.
    No official supervision but the test result can give a 'no reading' result.

    Home test is an official test. Just done at home rather than sat at a table in a hall or sat in your car.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #13
  14. japancool

    japancool UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    I take a test in hospital every week, and we do not get any information about the result unless it is positive. Same when I went to a testing centre.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #14
  15. Mr D

    Mr D UKBF Legend Free Member

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    You give them your mobile number and email address? Twice have been tested at testing centre, both times had an email and a text giving negative result. Could have printed off the email if I wanted or forwarded the text to my manager's mobile phone.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: Mr D Member since: Feb 12, 2017
    #15
  16. japancool

    japancool UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    Yes, they have both. And my home address.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #16
  17. tony84

    tony84 UKBF Big Shot Free Member

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    My next door neighbour had one about 2-3 weeks ago, he did not get the result until the next day.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: tony84 Member since: Apr 14, 2008
    #17
  18. DontAsk

    DontAsk UKBF Ace Free Member

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    I got a negative result within 24 hours (the stated time is 3-5 days). Everyone I know who has had a test has had a result, either way.

    I would start asking questions.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: DontAsk Member since: Jan 7, 2015
    #18
  19. MBE2017

    MBE2017 UKBF Ace Free Member

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    The people I know have tests every two to three days, being either in the NHS or teachers, working with kids etc. I have a box at the house that had approx 50 tests in it, just for my wife.
    She self tests and sends a form off weekly with the results, unless you get a positive. She only got a call from the hospital, maybe things are different for some NHS staff.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: MBE2017 Member since: Feb 16, 2017
    #19
  20. japancool

    japancool UKBF Big Shot Full Member

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    Maybe different NHS trusts do things differently.
     
    Posted: Feb 14, 2021 By: japancool Member since: Jul 11, 2013
    #20