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Hearing while on sick leave

Date posted: 29.11.2013 | Author: Harry Bovensmann

You can discipline an employee who is on sick leave but if the employee’s illness is genuine, failing to postpone the hearing will probably be regarded as procedurally unfair.

Illness can be regarded as genuine if the employee presents a certificate from a registered medical practitioner stating that according to the assessment, the employee was too ill or injured to work for the period of absence. The certificate must be signed and indicate the visit’s date and time. In these circumstances, it is advisable to postpone the hearing until after the return date indicated on the certificate, but state in the notice that further delays won’t be allowed and that the hearing might continue in the employee’s absence if s/he fails to appear.

In summary, employers should err on the side of caution and postpone at least once if the employee claims to be too ill to attend. If you have evidence supporting your belief that sick leave is being abused, however, you may be able to continue in the employee’s absence.

The Employer should inform the employee in writing about the reasons why you continued in absence and allow an opportunity to convince you that the absence was not deliberate.

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