Disciplinary for being sick

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  • Disciplinary for being sick
  • toby1
    Member

    There are a number of HR experts on here with greater knowledge than me, but I’d be very very surprised if that is possible!

    grim168
    Member

    Our place (bae systems) has this policy. 3 periods of sick in one year and you get a disciplinary.

    toppers3933
    Member

    i had to go and see ocupational health several times following 3 seperate sick days is 6 months. was rediculous cause they were all for diferent things. the ocupational health people milked it for all it was worth telling me i had to go back every few weeks for about 4 months. would have escalated to disciplinary if id have had any more sick days i think.

    Premier Icon postierich
    Subscriber

    3 absences in a 12 month period gets us a stage one warning so if you have 3 days off or 3×7 days off it is the same sentance stinks but does stop people taking the piss!

    Tell her to speak to her union rep 😉

    clubber
    Member

    you can’t be disciplined for being sick per se.

    Presumably they don’t believe she was? any reason? does she have any doctor’s notes?

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
    Subscriber

    Shocking that it is written into some contracts…

    Where I used to work we were allowed 25 days a year sick – my colleague used to use them all as extra holiday.

    weirdnumber
    Member

    The company I work for does the same, there are automatic triggers for the frequency of sickness and also a maximum continuous period without a valid doctors note. Taking 4 days off in one stretch is ok but 3 individual days over 3 months triggers a disciplinary. Maybe unfair for legitimate illness but it makes people think before taking a day because of a hangover.

    TandemJeremy
    Member

    It will not be a disciplinary unless she has failed to follow procedures I bet as that would not be on. It will be under a sickness and absence policy designed to deal with shirkers but in order to do so everyone has to go thru it. its usually triggered by 3 non certificated sick periods in any one year which is what she has.

    She will be called into an investigative meeting and I will bet (unless there are other issues) that will be the end of it once the management have heard her side of the story.

    done loads of these from both sides

    project
    Member

    Thats life, you agree to the conditions of employment when you agree to take the wages.

    But saying that a lot of companies will use that to downsize the workforce and its quite legal.

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    A bit extreme, but quite normal these days.

    Stops the “Monday Morning Syndrome” a lot of people get after a hard weekend… Though of course not suggesting that at all mate of your missus!

    If you’re gonna be off sick, might as well take the week off, they’ll view it in the same light!

    markenduro
    Member

    What is her company policy on this?
    It doesn’t automatically lead to a disciplinary case where I work but it does raise alarms when anyone has more than 3 periods of sickness in a year, the company has a duty of care to endure that the work environment is not affecting the employees health.

    Junkyard
    Member

    it will be a contract thing and you can get disciplined but it is hughly unlikely ti lead to sacking

    it all depends what is in here contract

    I had the same thing at mine despite having had no days off work in the previous 6 yeas and then 3 in 3 months.

    What I learnt was if you are going to have a day off you may as well have a week as it is incidents not days they count. No one seemed to actually care it was just the rules

    Should not really be considered a disciplinary [ though they probably can] though ours is an enhanced return to work procedure

    Premier Icon muggomagic
    Subscriber

    A lot of companies will have limits for occasions of sickness rather than actual days off. Though 3 days on 3 occasions so far apart seems a bit much for a disaplinary. Make sure she takes someone senior in with her union rep ideally.
    Is it actually the start of disaplinary proceedings or is it more of a “discussion” to see what the issues have been?

    antigee
    Member

    not a HR expert but test of a policy would be firstly is it legal and secondly is it consistently applied – i’ve never worked for a co that described interviews relating to sickness absence as disciplinary usually a review – a big issue on absence from employer perspective is just after / just before public holidays
    If it is a disciplinary interview then your wife has right to a third party (eg union rep)to be present

    Premier Icon sparkyrhino
    Subscriber

    Bet they use the bradford factor. Some longwinded formula made up to allow companys H R to wield the stick

    transapp
    Member

    TJ’s spot on.

    hels
    Member

    Sounds like her line manager is a bit of a tube. Most employers have a “return to work interview” process now on the grounds it is harder to lie when you have to look somebody in the eyes.

    She will have hit a trigger point, so there will be a meeting with a discussion, but it is unlikely to prompt disciplinary at this stage. That would be daft…

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Subscriber

    Back in the good old Bank of ****s, I was always on a “stage 2” attendance management thing, due to ongoing health issues, and it was quite interesting the logic of the thing. Stuff like a single day’s absence being considered worse than a 3-day absence- so you haul yourself back to work as fast as possible, then find it causes you problems.

    Every so often it escalated, and I’d have a conversation with a HR bod or manager that went like this:
    “You’re off quite a lot aren’t you”
    “Yes, I’m basically human wreckage”
    “We’d prefer if you weren’t”
    “So would I!”
    Highlight was being off for 10 weeks, returning to work for 2 days, basically collapsing then being off for another 2 weeks- did they say “Thanks for trying?” No they said “That’s 2 seperate absences, much worse than one longer one” I’d have been better not bothering.

    Eventually they would ask to speak to my doctor, and my doctor would get furious, call them names for a bit then charge them for the privilege. Then that’d reset it but next time I was off ill, off we went again.

    Attendance management and disciplinary are usually very different, but 3 days in a year is trivial- it’s reasonable for them to ask if there’s something going on but not to treat her like she’s done anything wrong.

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
    Subscriber

    She’s just phoned me on the way back so I don’t know the full details of if she has just got one or if there are going to be some meetings.

    The company is having loads of issues and seem awful to work for from what I can see (its a Pharma company)

    I’ll see if there is a union she can join to get some support.

    The strange thing is she works from home and works hard, if she wanted to skive she’d just skive rather than call in sick.

    I think she may be being slowly shoved out by making her life very difficult. They seem to be on her back about everything at the moment, but a lot seems unjustified.

    LMT
    Member

    Ours is 3% of time off over 6 months that equates to 4 days if your full time, starts with a review, and often its just next steps, ie what can you do to improve your absence etc..

    If you don’t complete the next steps, or absence gets worse then it can escalate and i did send one ga once to a sacking through sickness and it was the can’t be bothered on a monday morning routine.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Subscriber

    Is she actually being disciplined or are they just investigating?

    A lot of places have ‘trigger points’ where if you’re sick, say, three times in 12 months, they look into why. It can be fairly innocuous; part of it is obviously “are you taking the proverbial” but it’s also to cover their own back. Is she off sick due to work-related stress, is there something they can do to help, are you fit to be in work or should you take more time off, that sort of thing. I’ve seen it referred to as “capability” – are you capable of doing your job – which sounds scary, but in that case it was a trip to Occupational Health to make sure you were ok and weren’t going to sue them.

    Ie, it’s probably not a disciplinary, it just sounds like one.

    dirtbiker100
    Member

    Our company has some kind of policy whereby if its 3 days off over a year you get a warning but if they are longer than 3 days each then you’re fine. Think its something like that. Sorry i’m vague, I’ve been lucky with sickness so far!

    I doubt your wife is getting shoved out, a lot of people have had warnings in my company and every time someone does we all say how silly a policy it is.

    Bushwacked – Member
    Shocking that it is written into some contracts…

    Where I used to work we were allowed 25 days a year sick – my colleague used to use them all as extra holiday.Perhaps the two are linked…

    Munqe-chick
    Member

    Bradford score take number of days off sick squared by periods of absence, if we hit 150 then disciplinary! good luck but it all depends what is in the contract I guess.

    FeeFoo
    Member

    Same “3 occasions” system at my work.

    It didn’t take long for people to cotton on.

    Everyone just makes sure that they take between 2 and 3 days sick even if they only “need” one day.

    Stupid system in my opinion.

    Premier Icon tomhoward
    Subscriber

    My place must be pretty good then, there’s a group of about 10 people that seem to have more time off ‘sick’ than I have time off for ‘weekends’.

    I’ve not had a sick day for 5 years, reckon I should get a day or 2 in leiu…

    LMT
    Member

    I forgot to add we don’t get paid for the first 3 days ethier, only get from the 4th day, which makes it worse, its better to tke a week or 2 just to get paid, we get 4 weeks sick pay at the moment and it goes up with every year of service, yet can still have a disciplinary if your off for 4 days or more, see its linked, if we pay you for not being here, your going to get hammered when you return.

    But one thing to check is that proceedure has been followed all the way through, i had to do a disciplinary last week for one of the bakers at work, going through his file, one piece of paperwork from a previous investigation was missing so he got off, all i could do was give him next steps.

    Premier Icon Bushwacked
    Subscriber

    My wife’s just heard she’s being given a disciplinary for being sick!!!

    Can they do this?

    She took a day in August last year, a day in November and a day recently. All legitimate and she works damn hard. So thats 3 days in a year.

    Can they do this?

    mt
    Member

    if there are rules on sickness then everyone has to be seen to be treated the same so that nets those that are genuine with those that toss it off. It’s how the company interprets the rules and deals with people on an indiviual bases during the back to work meeting that lets you know if you work at the wrong place.

    batfink
    Member

    What does “diciplinary” mean in this context? Chat with line-manager (reasonable) or written warning (ridiculous)?

    Premier Icon sparkyrhino
    Subscriber

    Munqe-chick – Member
    Bradford score take number of days off sick squared by periods of absence, if we hit 150 then disciplinary!
    150 its 89 where i work.

    Premier Icon andydicko
    Subscriber

    Rule of thumb regarding sickness is to investigate, get all the facts, if everything is ok, then no more action.

    Pretty much as TJ says.

    hels
    Member

    In my years as a line manager I figured a good technique for RTW interviews. State the verifiable facts then stop speaking. A person who isn’t taking the proverbial doesn’t say much, the guilty can’t take the silence and come up with all kinds of flannel and excuses and justifications.

    Best response I ever had was a person with a fairly legendary sickness record who looked straight at me at every meeting and calmly promised with a twinkle in their eye “I will absolutely never be off sick ever again ever, I promise, oh no siree, never, not me”. Not much you can say to that…

    That’s the best approach I reckon !

    Premier Icon bruneep
    Subscriber

    I think she should book sick with stress…………………..

    ebygomm
    Member

    I’ve worked lots of places that have trigger points for sickness where you get an additional interview if certain triggers are hit. These interviews consisted of nothing more than a chat to see if there were any reasons for repeated absences that could be reduced/resolved. The majority of employees used to refer to these trigger interviews as ‘disciplinaries’ even though they were nothing of the sort.

    GJP
    Member

    We have a similar scheme where I work. Two periods of sickness in any 3 month period, more than 10 days in any 12 month period etc.

    It seems reasonable but it can put undue pressure on good people to come to work when they are ill, which I do not believe is in anyone’s interests. And there are those people who think it is their god given right to come to work and infect everyone with their germs so they can have a 100% attendance record.

    I had to laugh the other day when I met one of the staff from the occupational health team on the bus who gave me a hard time when I wanted to come back to work after one of my manic/depressive phases. I said I hadn’t seen her for a while, and she replied “oh I have been off sick for the last 8 months”.

    I know I should take satisfaction at other people’s health issues, but it certainly put a wee smirk in on face. I just hope it wasn’t too obvious. 😆

    EDIT I think that last sentence should have said shouldn’t

    Premier Icon totalshell
    Subscriber

    lets be clear you can be disciplined and you can be sacked for being legitimately off work sick.

    I managed a business where we sacked 26 employees from one branch in one year for been absent from work.

    absence was recorded as the number of absence periods and as a percentage of your annual contracted hours.
    everyone returning to work had an interview with thier line manager that day to clarify and record the reason for absence. if that period of absence caused the person to exceed either of the set limits the next step was an automatic disciplinary hearing..the outcome of that meeting depended on thier position in the discplinary process.

    I can honestly say that although seeming draconian it was extremley fair and absences fell from circa 9% to about 4% over the two year period I managed it.

    certainly all the shirkers and folk who wanted duvet mondays or fridays were soon caught out. on the positive some people with serious issues were offered private health treatment by my employer rather than wait 16 weeks for the NHS to sort them out. I’m proud of some of the things we were able to do to help some seriously ill and disadvantaged staff

    at the end of a day we sign a contract with our employer they agree to pay you etc you agree to turn up. If either party fails to keep up thier end of the bargain its only right they are held accountable.

    Dancake
    Member

    Only 2 occurences of sick time allowed in a rolling year permitted for us with return to work interviews etc etc.

    Any more than 2 occasions and you enter into a disciplinary process where you can be taken of the sick pay sceme.

    don simon
    Member

    at the end of a day we sign a contract with our employer they agree to pay you etc you agree to turn up. If either party fails to keep up thier end of the bargain its only right they are held accountable.

    Have you got any jobs going?

Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 67 total)

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