Written Warning for Sickness Absence Template

  • Leave and Absence

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    Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

    (Last updated )

    Use our free template to create a firm but fair written warning letter for sickness absence.

    Absences in the workplace happen a lot of the time. This could be for a variety of reasons, but it is typically the result of ill health.

    Employers shouldn't see staff taking sick leave as concerning. In fact, it can help reduce absenteeism rates as the chance of sickness spreading amongst employees is also reduced.

    But, continued absenteeism without reason or prior notice can cause problems for your business. For example, it can lower overall productivity - as staff members will have to pick up the workload of the absent employee.

    To reiterate your expectations and prevent continued sickness absence occurring, you could issue a written warning letter to your employee after a disciplinary hearing has been held.

    And if you've never created a written warning letter before, there's no need to stress - Peninsula has a template you can download for free.

    Can you give a written warning letter for sickness absence?

    Yes, if you can highlight that an employee has been repeatedly absent due to sickness, you can provide a written warning letter to them. Generally, there is no specific employment law that states when written warnings are acceptable.

    But if you and your HR managers can evidence absenteeism in the employee's attendance records, as well as how it has affected your business negatively, a written warning letter would be an appropriate disciplinary action. This is as long as the employee does not have an underlying medical condition.

    What are the benefits of using an employee warning letter?

    Issuing an employee warning letter might seem like a drastic action to take, but it can be beneficial. For example, it:

    Outlines your company expectations

    Using a written warning letter for sickness absence can reinforce what you expect from your staff. It gives you the opportunity to outline what improvements your employee needs to make - as well as what consequences there will be if they don't.

    Not to mention, it allows you to express what further disciplinary action you'll take if the employee fails to improve. For example, you might then issue a final written warning. Remember to add the letter to the employee's personnel file, so you can evidence your reason for using a disciplinary procedure.

    Allows the employee a chance to respond

    Following a disciplinary meeting - a written warning letter also gives your employee another opportunity to respond. For example, they might be aware of your concern for their increased absence - but are able to justify this. If they have a long-term sickness, it's best to see what accommodations you can make for them - or if you can offer suitable alternative work.

    However, the latter is not legally required unless they have a disability. It’s also important to remember that you're legally required to give the employee a chance to dispute your warning letter.

    Improves poor performance

    Perhaps the most notable benefit of issuing a warning letter for sickness absence is that it could improve your employee's performance. In your letter, you can outline how your employee has violated your company policy, and what steps they need to take in order to comply with your professional expectations.

    This, alongside a timescale with when the employee needs to improve, will give them the chance to take corrective action. They'll likely be incentivised to improve to avoid further disciplinary action being taken.

    Get help with written warning letters from Peninsula

    Written warning letters is one step you can take when dealing with an employee taking continued sickness absence.

    Whilst it reiterates your expectations, it also gives your employee the chance to improve. And communicate any problems they've been having in their personal life that may affect their absenteeism rate.

    If you need guidance drafting legal paperwork, Peninsula's documentation service is on hand to help. When you work with us, our team of employment law experts will draft all your legal documentation. Not to mention, they'll even update them when legislation changes too.

    Peninsula can help with more than just your HR documentation. We also provide:

    For specific, specialised assistance, you can call our experts at 0800 028 2420.

    Disclaimer: This template is provided ‘as is’ and Peninsula Business Services Ltd excludes all representations, warranties, obligations and liabilities in relation to the template to the maximum extent permitted by law.

    Peninsula Business Services Ltd is not liable for any errors or omissions in the template and shall not be liable for any loss, injury or damage of any kind caused by its use. Use of the template is entirely at the risk of the User and should you wish to do so then independent legal advice should be sought before use.

    Use of the template will be deemed to constitute acceptance of the above terms.

    Written Warning for Sickness Absence Template

    Click here to download your free written warning for sickness absence template


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