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Can you proceed with a disciplinary if an employee is absent due to sickness?

How do you deal with a situation where an employee is absent due to sickness and cannot attend a disciplinary?

In this episode of the podcast I answer a question from a listener about what to do when an employee says that they are not fit to attend a disciplinary hearing .  

In this episode I will cover:

  • Your options when this happens.
  • What the ACAS code says about an employee not attending a disciplinary meeting.
  • What are the requirements of ‘natural justice’.
  • Principles of a fair dismissal for misconduct known as the ‘Burchell’ test.
  • The need to weigh up dealing with matters in a timely manner v principles of fairness and natural justice.
  • Reasonableness and range of reasonable responses test.
  • Reductions to compensation known as ‘Polkey’ deductions.

Action Points

  1. Where possible try to ensure that the employee can attend the meeting and if necessary agree to a delay to enable this to happen.
  2. Obtain medical advice and evidence wherever possible.
  3. Only proceed in the absence of the employee in exceptional circumstances.
  4. Obtain advice before making a decision about how to proceed.

Useful Links

BHS v Burchell

Polkey Case

ACAS Code of Practice

Khanum v Mid Glamorgan Area Health Authority

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 1

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 2

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 3

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 4

Unfair Dismissal Mini Series Episode 5 

Unfair Dismissal FAQ’s

Please do leave any comments, ideas and best practice below. Please ensure that any comments are respectful to all views and opinions.

As part of our HR Harbour annual subscription service for employers we provide guidance and training on unfair dismissal. If you would like to know more about the HR Harbour Service and how you can get unlimited support from as little as £180 per month please contact me for a no obligation discussion – or you can find full details here: HR Harbour

Don’t forget you can contact us by telephone 01983 897003, 01722 653001 or 023 8098 2006

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The information contained in this Podcast and post is provided for guidance and is a snapshot of the law at the time. It is provided for your information only and should not be used as a substitute for obtaining legal advice that it specific to your particular circumstances.

The guidance should not be relied upon in any decision making process. It is strongly recommended that you seek advice before taking action.

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