Think an employee is faking a sickness? Don't tolerate it

  • Leave and Absence
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

Read our article: 'Think an employee is faking a sickness? Don't tolerate it'. Contact us today for more information about our Employment Law, Health & Safety, and HR services.

Whenever I speak to employers they seem frustrated when employees call in sick, suspicions begin to arise that reasons stated may not be genuine. Whilst it is easy to think this we should be careful not to jump to a conclusion unless you have clear evidence and even then you need to act with caution. I strongly suggest that you implement a clear policy from the start, ensure that when your employees call in sick they are aware of what your policy dictates. In addition when an employee makes a call to report they will be absent from work due to sickness that they make the call themselves rather than relying on a family member. Ask the employee to provide details of why they are absent, if they have seen their doctor, booked an appointment and what their expected return to work date will be. Also discourage them from leaving a message with a colleague, they need to speak with their line manager in order to report absenteeism. Once the employee returns ensure that you conduct a ‘return to work’ interview - and conduct this quickly. This ensures that the individual is fit enough to return to work, whilst secondly it gives a clear message that, as a business, you treat absenteeism seriously. It is worth noting that most employees who take time off work are of course absent for genuine reasons. Employees absent from work for long periods of time may well wonder what colleagues think about their absence and how it will impact working relationships. You will need to reassure the employee prior to returning that reasons for their absence is confidential and will continue to be so. An understanding approach is essential in order to encourage the individual to return to work. Finally remember when dealing with long term absenteeism, allowing a problem to fester may make it more difficult for the employee to return to work and resolve the situation satisfactory, so early intervention is encouraged and watertight policies and procedures that govern absenteeism are essential. If you need any clarification on this issue then please contact the Peninsula Advice Service on 0844 892 2772. 

FAQs

Got a question? Check whether we’ve already answered it for you…

Related articles

  • Recruitment Guide

    Blog

    Britain's biggest businesses are being urged to recruit prison leavers

    Government has launched a national campaign to encourage Britain’s biggest businesses to recruit prison leavers in order to reduce re-offending and expand the economy

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Recruitment
  • sick leave

    Blog

    Prime Minister sets out reform measures to tackle 'sick note culture'

    Almost 11 million fit notes were issued last year, with an overwhelming 94% of those signed “not fit for work”. And that, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said, is a problem that must be tackled with more help for people to get the appropriate support they may need to remain in work.

    Peninsula Team Peninsula Team
    • Leave and Absence
  • Sickness leave

    Blog

    Reform to SSP and fit notes proposed

    Given the high rates of sickness absence in the UK, there have been recent calls for reform of both the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) system and the fit note process.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Leave and Absence
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and Health & Safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.