Dismissal for a Sickie
The Employment Tribunal has found that an employee who exaggerated his illness was fairly dismissed for gross misconduct. The Claimant was employed by the Respondent as a bus driver between 2004 and 2014. He reported to the Respondent that he had slipped on a puddle of water at the Respondent’s premises. The Respondent’s Occupational Health adviser issued a report which stated that at the current time Mr Ajaj was not fit for driving duties. The Claimant’s GP referred him to physiotherapy. Due to a number of reasons, the Respondent was concerned about the genuineness of the injuries and their extent. The Respondent arranged for covert surveillance of the Claimant around the same time when he attended the Respondent’s premises for a sickness absence review. Upon reviewing the footage, it revealed that Mr Ajaj’s representation of his injuries did not correspond to what could be observed in the video. Further medical examinations and sickness absence review were held and covert surveillance was in place during that period too. The Claimant said that his pain prevented him from moving, he could not run or walk quickly, get up or sit down quickly, he could not shop and had difficulties with dressing and shoes. The Respondent told the Claimant that he did not believe the extent and seriousness of his injuries and for that reason suspended the Claimant. Mr Ajaj was invited to a disciplinary hearing regarding the following allegations:
- He had made a false claim for sick pay,
- He had misrepresented his ability to attend work; and
- He had made a false claim of an injury at work.