A friend is currently on their 3rd day of sick leave after developing sudden lower back pain. They work part time (20 hours pw) for a large retail company.
Said company have a pretty strict and thorough managing absence policy masquarading under the guise of Duty of Care and as such when friend returns they will be subjected to an interview and as they have had one previous day off within a set period they will activate a trigger which will probably result in a warning.
Said person has worked for 35 years with an unblemished record ( only 18 months with this company) and his absences are genuine.
So, can he insist that this current absence be regarded as annual leave and therefore avoid diciplinary/punitive action or can he only request this and it is entirely at the companys discretion?