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Disciplinary hearing - am I likely to lose my job?

(12 Posts)
MittensIsReadyForWinter Tue 07-Nov-17 18:44:44

I have worked for the company part time for 3 years and have not had any warnings before. I have had in total 7 days plus left half way through work one day since August (went back in April), because of various reasons (including my son being ill, me getting food poisoning and my DH being ill too) and I am unable to find a babysitter at weekends when he is not well. I got a back to work form and it just said they will monitor my attendance and will give me a warning if I continue with more days off. I received a letter saying I have a disciplinary hearing in regards to my sickness! I am still looking for alternative childcare arrangements just in case my DH ends up ill (he has an autoimmune disease).

To be frank, I am terrified of losing my job! I will be completely ruined if I lose it. I won't be able to pay my bills or rent! Do anyone know what the likelihood of the outcome is? Will it be a written warning? I've read that they can dismiss me straight away if they wanted! I've always worked to a high standard and had no complaints in regards to my work - just sickness. When I called in sick last time I felt so guilty I was getting upset over it the whole week knowing I left them in the lurch again sad

Worth mentioning during my pregnancy I was also off sick (I had a doctors sick note for this but I think it might still count as sickness leave won't it?!) that doesn't help either if it does confusedshock

BritInUS1 Tue 07-Nov-17 18:47:16

Sorry I am trying to work out your post, it is a bit jumbled

So you have worked there for 3 years

I don't understand the bit where you say you went back in April? Is this after maternity leave?

Are your absences sickness for you, or looking after your DH/DC?

notaflyingmonkey Tue 07-Nov-17 18:49:42

Are you in a union? If not, suggest you join one asap. Look at your company's disaplinary procedures, which should help you understand if they can sack you. Have you been clear about what was sickness absence, and what was childcare-related?

MittensIsReadyForWinter Tue 07-Nov-17 18:51:27

@BritInUS1 sorry about that. Yes I was on maternity before that. I went back in April and sicknesses began around August. The absences were a bit of everything, my son ill first, then myself and then my DH!

MittensIsReadyForWinter Tue 07-Nov-17 18:52:28

@notaflyingmonkey yes I have explained that, I was unable to get childcare because DH was on hospital but they said they still count that as an absence no matter what (not carers leave as for some odd reason they had no clue what that means so I am guessing they don't favour it!)

FATEdestiny Tue 07-Nov-17 19:06:09

There have been 14 weeks since August 1st. 7 days off means averaging 1 day off per fortnight. From an employer's point view, that's very high frequency absenteeism.

They are not likely to sack you though (unless you have a zero hours contract or there are other factors involved). You may be asked to see occupational heath, or be asks to explain if you are physically capable of performing your role, given your absences. You should be asked if you feel your employer could do anything to support any health issues.

All of these would be with a view to increase your attendance. So expect to face consequences of you cannot improve your levels of absenteeism after this chat. 10% absence levels is completely unsustainable.

daisypond Tue 07-Nov-17 19:25:08

How many days' sickness were for you personally? The sick days for your DH and DS are a different matter. I don't think your DH being sick has anything to do with anything, unless he is classed as your dependant. Or is he a source of childcare? That might make things different, and you could possibly get emergency leave to deal with it - not to cover it, just to sort out new arrangements. Your DS, if he gets sick suddenly, that time should be classed as time off to deal with a dependant as an emergency. Your employer doesn't have to pay you for this. Any subsequent time for the same illness would have to be taken as parental leave, unpaid. Some companies may allow time off as compassionate leave, but it depends on the company.

Babyroobs Tue 07-Nov-17 20:26:26

Why are you taking sickness time when it's not you that's sick? Is there an option to take unpaid carers leave instead?

unfortunateevents Tue 07-Nov-17 22:24:20

I'm also trying to work out the timings here. Is this correct?

You have worked part-time for the company for 3 years
You were on maternity leave, returned in April
Since August you have missed seven days of work and left early one day
Reasons for absence have been a mixture of you being ill, your son being ill, and your DH - who provides (some of?) your childcare - sometime being unable to do this because he is ill

If that is correct, then 7 days absence since August is a very high level. How have you accounted for those days? Only the days you have been ill yourself should be sick leave. Other days when you were caring for your DS could have been emergency leave (probably unpaid) or you might have been able to take them as annual leave.

Many large companies have a disciplinary procedure which will kick in automatically once you reach a certain level of absence, which is probably what has happened here. It's a difficult situation on both sides. I suggest that you ask the company to look at your sickness record to date to see that you being ill this year is unusual and hopefully unlikely to occur frequently. For your child's illness, is your husband also taking his fair share of time off or is he your child's full-time carer? Yes, I think you need to try and identify some alternative childcare for emergencies - family, friends? Maybe you have to look at your child being in nursery or with a CM some of the time when you are at work. It will cost but may help your husband's health and frankly is cheaper than you not being in work at all.

Katescurios Tue 07-Nov-17 22:53:56

You need to check your employment contract/policy and look up special leave for dependants.

Your husbands illness most likely won't count because usually it only cover under 18s or adults with disabilities that make them fully dependant on you.

As long as you informed work at the time that you were unable to attend because of child/husband illness these shouldn't have been classified as sick leave. They would be dependant leave for your child and unpaid/holiday approved leave for your husband.

You say that you have had no previous warmings or disciplinaries, in this case you are unlikely to be dismissed as you have 3 yes service and presumably have passed probation, you may be given a warning.

You really need to read through your disciplinary/performance management/ attendance processes.

If you are in a union contact them for advise or call ACAS who can provide guidance.


Katescurios Tue 07-Nov-17 22:55:53

Sorry, not sure why there is a mystery 'again' at the end of my post. I blame my phone.

Mumof56 Tue 07-Nov-17 23:05:43

I've always worked to a high standard and had no complaints in regards to my work

If you're not there to do the work this is largely irrelevant.

What your employer does will be what's best for the business and what your responsability is.

For instance if you work in a store and are expected to open the shop, you are leaving your employer high and dry if you don't turn up.

Do other colleagues Have to take on your work when you are not there? Areyou part of a team where the others have to pick up your work for you.

7 1/2 days sick since August is very high. While your own sickness can be explained, your childcare issues/ child sickness/ husbands sickness are not directly your employers problem. I would think a written warning is on the cards.

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