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Can this be right?

(16 Posts)
twattymctwatterson Thu 06-Oct-16 19:46:43

A friend and colleague was recently off sick for three weeks following an unexpected injury. No previous issues with absence or performance. Due to the length of absence an attendance review was triggered which went on to a hearing. He was given a verbal warning. Can they do this? Completely understand the need for an attendance policy, but surely it's unreasonable to discipline someone for a one off, completely unavoidable period of absence where there is no previous pattern?

AyeAmarok Thu 06-Oct-16 19:50:51

Some employers do this after two separate periods of sick leave. Has your colleague ever been off before?

watfordmummy Thu 06-Oct-16 19:51:20

Yes of course it is, the absence meant that their attendance wasn't acceptable.

Doesn't matter if genuine or not attendance not acceptable = warning

HermioneWeasley Thu 06-Oct-16 19:51:30

Depends on the policy, but many companies will hold a meeting and may warn that you've hit a trigger for a 3 week block

Companies can't really differentiate between genuine illness and those who are taking the piss, so most will issue a warning for hitting tigers.

If your friend otherwise has a good attendance record, their warning will expire with no issues.

HermioneWeasley Thu 06-Oct-16 19:52:02

Hitting triggers, not tigers!

Hitting tigers is probably extremely dangerous

mummarichardson Thu 06-Oct-16 19:53:35

Did he get a sick note?

twattymctwatterson Thu 06-Oct-16 19:54:01

No previous periods of sickness. It's a percentage in my work so as a result of the length of time off an absence hearing was triggered. However, given that it's essentially a one off absence I just can't understand how someone could be disciplined for this.

twattymctwatterson Thu 06-Oct-16 19:54:40

Yes there was a sick note.

twattymctwatterson Thu 06-Oct-16 19:58:38

He was advised prior to the hearing that there could be a warning or nfa. It's easy to identify a pattern of taking the piss. I've been working for 20 years and never encountered this type of hardline approach - seems like a good way to alienate the type of employee you actually want to keep

smurfest Thu 06-Oct-16 20:21:59

Well it doesn't sound right to me!

Surely if someone has taken sick leave for a genuine reason they shouldn't get a verbal warning.

ThePinkOcelot Thu 06-Oct-16 20:28:54

I was off work for 3 weeks after tearing the cartilage in my knee. I got a stage 1 sickness on my record. Had I stayed off another week, that wouldn't have happened as I would have then been long term sick!

Janey50 Thu 06-Oct-16 20:28:57

My SIL had this several years ago when he was off work for 4 weeks with pneumonia. He was in hospital for 5 days and was very ill. He had been back at work a week when he was called into the boss's office and given a verbal warning. SIL was well pissed off as his attendance at work prior to that had been exceptionally good. He queried it with someone higher up than his boss and it seems that they were within their rights,previous good attendance or not.

OllyBJolly Thu 06-Oct-16 20:42:54

Surely if someone has taken sick leave for a genuine reason they shouldn't get a verbal warning

What's genuine? Employers can only manage absence; they can't make a call on what is "genuine" and what isn't, sick note or not. It's sad that so many companies have to work like this but so many people do take the piss that they can't have different rules for different people.

smurfest Thu 06-Oct-16 21:33:21

I'm not saying absences shouldn't be managed. To me it would seem reasonable (as long as the same applied to everyone) to call people in after an absence and discuss the reason for the absence, but a warning seems fundamentally wrong.

thehugemanatee Thu 06-Oct-16 21:36:45

It's pretty standard but I do think it's a bit unfair.

twattymctwatterson Thu 06-Oct-16 22:36:07

Thanks for the responses folks. It appears that this is a policy implemented elsewhere although I've never experienced it before. I do think it's pretty easy to pick up on a pattern of absence (random days, different excuses etc ) and differentiate between that and an isolated instance, where someone has an obvious injury and a Drs line. I'm struggling with depression and anxiety a bit at the moment and was thinking of taking time off if things got any worse but I know the prospect of coming back to a verbal warning would make things 100x worse!

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