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I was wondering if anyone has had to deal with an employee who has poor attendance due to "being ill" and is off work 1 or 2 days a week every few weeks.


As you will all know getting a text first thing in the morning saying my stomach hurts so I will not be in today causes great issues with staffing/ratio's for rest of the day and high costs to get supply staff.


I believe we can ask for consent to write to their doctor.

At what point would it be classed as fair dismissal?

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Totally agree with you Lois. I ask them to text me if they are ill the night before and know they won't be at work the next day, but otherwise they're supposed to call at 7.30am and speak to me in person. I need to remind everyone of this, as some people are texting and not bothering to call.

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There is a system - possibly The Bristol * which gives really good guidance on sickness. I think a lot of public sector places use it- NHS, Local Government etc.


**** Be warned when looking up though and don't follow the Bristol Stool guidelines by mistake - Although, thinking about it that chart might be useful for us lot too :lol: :lol:



NO - Remembered!! it's The Bradford Absenteeism Factor

Edited by louby loo
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We've had that employee...


Actually, we had 2 employees who could not manage to do a full week's work - but 1 had various medical investigations and a GP that wanted to sign her off for 6 weeks to let her recover. She didn't want to be signed off as she was concerned that she would loose her job, but after lengthy discussions and showing her the guidance, she agreed to be signed off, which let us get cover (rather than not knowing which days each week would have been too much for her and having to get last minute cover or indeed close on at least 1 occasion) and let her get better.


The other one, we had long discussions with Lawcall about it to ensure we were doing everything properly, but did dismiss her in the end.


Lawcall were very helpful and sent us draft letters, links to the specific legal stuff, read our draft letters and proposed alterations to make sure we were compliant with the law, etc.


It's a lengthy process with making sure you have covered everything, but worth it in the end. The worst bit is that all your other staff think the person is 'getting away with it' as of course you can't tell them what's going on, so it has a bad effect on staff morale.

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I had great advice a few years ago from Lawcall on this.

Just make sure you cover yourself at all times!


Firstly, have a look at your attendance levels of all staff and decide, for you/for your setting what you consider to be an appropriate level of absence.

In your staff handbook state clearly how much absence will constitute a first meeting to discuss the reasons. When you are writing a letter to give disciplinary actions due to absence be careful how you word it - you are not claiming that they are not sick, the problem is that their levels of absence are too high and are putting the setting under organisational strain and having an impact on the quality of the provision.

You should then give them clear guidelines on what you then expect and by when, and what the action will be if they don't comply. Make sure you stick to this! meet with them again as soon as they don't meet this criteria (and I'm guessing they won't from the way you describe them.) Then it's probably going to be getting down to final written warning time unfortunately.

If at any time you discover that they are absent and have said they are ill and they weren't (Facebook is good for this!) the you can of course go straight to Gross Misconduct.


Hope that's helped!

Edited by JJA
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