Sainsbury disciplinary meeting following sick leave

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Sainsbury employ my daughter on one of their limited hours contracts (the kind often used to minimise or eliminate employer NI costs) who has just had a 7 week leave period of certified sickness. She has been emplyed for 30 months and previously had acceptable, low, sick leave absenses. Upon her return to work this week she had a return to work interview and was advised by her manager that he was referring her onto a disciplinary meeting because of her excessive time absent (15%) that is being held today.

I'm wondering why Sainsbury consider a period of certificated leave for a period of depression (for which she is now under voluntary group councilling and medication) a disciplinary matter and whether it is something I should encourage my daughter to take to the press. The letter she received advising the meeting date and time did have as the subject line identifying it as a disciplinary meeting. Their approach to mental issues doesn't come accross as supportive, more confrontational and aggressive.
 

fisicx

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Sep 12, 2006
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Did they actually use the word ‘disciplinary’?

What does it say in the staff handbook about return to work procedures?
 
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Mr D

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Feb 12, 2017
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I'd expect any employer to be concerned at long term sick leave especially if its for a repeatable reason.
Among other things they need to figure out a way to deal with this member of staff.
 
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The letter did say disciplinary meeting. I have heard from my daughter saying the panel decided there is to be no action required and the panel leader got on the phone to HR to ask why the f had a disciplinary case been started.

At least it seems someone at Sainsbury has some sense but doubtless this will go down on her HR record anyway.
 
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Nico Albrecht

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May 2, 2017
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I'm wondering why Sainsbury consider a period of certificated leave

Nothing to wonder about on this one. You go to a GP and they will give you a sick note. No real proof there for anything. Getting a 7 week sick note from a GP is done way too easy.

15% is a high absence rate and duty of care kicks in from Sainsbury to investigate outset by their trigger points and procedures.

0 hour contracts. She signed the contract and it is irrelevant information here


Their approach to mental issues doesn't come across as supportive, more confrontational and aggressive.

They will have the same approach for any sickness absence. Even if she let's say got insured at work and it was not her fault there would still be a disciplinary hearing.

Going to the press why? For what ? An employer is doing a duty of care and starts an investigation to gather facts.
 
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Newchodge

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Nov 8, 2012
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I think they have been insensitive in calling it a disciplinary meeting. It should have come under the capability procedure. Similar to disciplinary but considering whether the employee is medically capable of doing their job or whether changes may assist them in staying healthy. And warning the employee that future absences may result in moving to the next stage and ultimately dismissal if their attendance record is not acceptable.
 
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MBE2017

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Feb 16, 2017
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Unfortunately many companies are treating their staff very poorly IMO, my daughter works for Boots, and any sickness is subject to investigation and disciplinary action. She is constantly asked what is wrong, etc, I tell her to just repeat she was too ill to work and she is not medically qualified to say anything else.

She has been sick for two single days over three years, but dreads it if she is ever ill, knowing what to expect on her return.
 
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Mr D

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Unfortunately many companies are treating their staff very poorly IMO, my daughter works for Boots, and any sickness is subject to investigation and disciplinary action. She is constantly asked what is wrong, etc, I tell her to just repeat she was too ill to work and she is not medically qualified to say anything else.

She has been sick for two single days over three years, but dreads it if she is ever ill, knowing what to expect on her return.

My sister works for civil service, got pulled up about her time off she had due to an operation - something that anyone would have considerable time off over.
Then she had to have further follow on operations, some at short notice due to complications - and got pulled up over it.
Get admitted Saturday evening, op on the Tuesday and stuck in hospital over a week - meant nothing to her bosses. :)
 
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