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Sick leave abuse... any flowery help pls?

(11 Posts)
corygal Thu 09-Dec-10 14:26:37

Hello beautiful and gracious Flowery - I would love your help.

One of our junior staff - 18 months' standing - keeps taking odd 'sick' days off here and there.

The problem started five or six months ago and his sick rate is now about one day off a week.

The croaky phone calls and empty chair are mightily annoying for the other two members of his team, who are hard-working, hard-pressed ladies.

His manager has tried to motivate him with a product-design programme (it's a small creative company), effectively giving him a course of free training that the others don't get, but he's barely making it in for that.

When he does appear, he regales the office with tales of his party lifestyle. He doesn't have any - declared - health issues and lives locally. But he looks ghastly a lot of the time - limp, white, bad skin.

What should we practically do to deal with the problem?

Thanks so much.

scurryfunge Thu 09-Dec-10 14:28:59

Calculate the absences on the Bradford scale and begin disciplinary procedures if his absences are unacceptable.

Sarsaparilllla Thu 09-Dec-10 14:33:02

I'm not the person you were hoping for help from, but surely one day a week sick is enough to have an informal HR discussion with him about sick absence.

Is there any kind of policy in place regarding sickness? At my place after a cetain number of sick days they are allowed to start HR discussions, first an informal meeting, moving to formal, written warning etc.

SauvignonBlanche Thu 09-Dec-10 14:34:53

Do you have a sickness policy? I would also use the Bradford Indicator.

corygal Thu 09-Dec-10 14:37:26

Thanks so much.

The 'little chat' was had sometime ago, with the result that the sick days increased.

Scurry (brilliant name) - We have a sickness policy but it doesn't mention limits - it just tells the workers that the company doesn't pay any more than it has to by law.

Incidentally, if he's off 1 day a week, should she still be paid? I thought the employers' payment limit was (up to) three consecutive days' absence in a period of four months. Which he's well overshot.

Sarsaparilllla Fri 10-Dec-10 14:38:41

At our place, if the 'chat' has taken place then the next step would be a formal meeting, and a plan put in place to resolve the situation, it would be put in writing and he'd be expected to improve the sickness levels over a set amount of time, say a month, after which it would be reviewed at another formal meeting.

BarkisIsWilling Sun 12-Dec-10 09:49:03

Mine is a large organisation, so after the informal stage, a formal meeting would happen. He'd be advised that if the sickness levels rose above 3 episodes/10 days he would be seen by our OH team. (Occ. Health)

An appointment would be made for him to attend an OH examination with the manager having completed a referral form that asks specific ?ns, like is this person disabled, what support can we give him, is there anything we should be aware of, and so on...

He'd then be invited to meet to discuss this report which would hopefully provide assistance in setting targets/expectations. This would be formally communicated to him, along with sickness reduction action points.

The other thing might be to review his working days. You might wish to employ him part time T-F 10-5?

LadyLapsang Sun 12-Dec-10 18:10:46

Mine is a large organisation. When a person returned from sick you give them a return to work interview. Obviously if there is no issue, just a minor illness & no poor sickness record, it's just glad to see you're back hope you're feeling better but in a case like this they would have proper interviews each time.

Do you keep a rolling sickness record with everything charted so you can see patterns (long weekends etc.)When a person reaches the warning stage (can't remember 9 or 12 days in a rolling year) they will be referred to HR / OH.

As you say he looks pale and sick, maybe you should advise him to go and see his GP for some health checks / lifestyle advise (healthy eating, exercise etc.)

hermioneweasley Sun 12-Dec-10 19:32:12

he is completely taking the mick, but if i could get away with a day off a week (which he is) then why not?

if the company doesn't have a sickness policy then i'd suggest writing one.

In the meantime, I would have a formal attendance meeting wiht him - asking him if there is any reason why he has such horrendous amounts of time off. If he says there is, i would request a medical report, if he says he's just been 'unlucky' I would set him a target of (for example) 8 weeks full attendance, with a progression to a disciplinary if he doesn;t meet this target. if he does, then keep extending the review period until he has an acceptable block of full attendance under his belt.

if you don't have an HR dept, then consult with ACAS to make sure your procedure is OK, as the last thing you want to be doing is paying him out and unfair dismissal claim!

pippop1 Sun 12-Dec-10 21:55:18

Do you think he has a drink problem? You mention his party lifestyle? If it's affecting his work, he needs to cut down.

pippop1 Sun 12-Dec-10 21:55:58

Or drug problem even?

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