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Help for small firms

Managing staff absence: A step-by-step guide

True or false?

Managing staff absence - Myth busting: True or false?

If an employee is off sick long-term, and I can no longer hold the job open for them because my business is suffering, I can justifiably sack them without any comeback.

There are a lot of stages to go through before that thought should even cross your mind.

Think about the factors mentioned earlier in this tool.

  • Have you considered changes so they can return to the job?
  • Would part-time or flexible working be an option?
  • Is there suitable alternative work?
  • Have you been able to properly explore options with the employee's GP, or maybe the company?

While you are not expected to create a special job for the employee, you are expected to try hard to work out where they could again play a part.

Where all reasonable options have drawn a complete blank, and the employee's job can no longer be held open, you may want to inform the employee of the likelihood of dismissal.

And if dismissal action is taken after following fair disciplinary procedures, the employee should be given the period of notice they are entitled to by law, or in their contract. And they should be told of their right to appeal against the decision.

For more on disciplinary procedures, go to Managing discipline - Investigation to possible dismissal: A guide, another online tool in this series of guides.

You may find it helpful to seek advice from the Disability Service Teams whose addresses can be obtained from Jobcentre Plus offices.

Download a PDF version of pdf  Help for small firms - Managing staff absence [66kb] that you can print out.

How useful is this tool? Email webteam@acas.org.uk and let us know.

If you want to know more, download the pdf  Advisory booklet - Managing attendance and employee turnover [538kb].

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