Absence Management

I would like some advice. We currently have an employee who recently joined our organisation. There probation is six months in which she has completed 3 months but we have not been able to observe her performance due to short absences. However, what we have noticed is  every task she carries out she likes to sit down to do, but we have told her about these practices especially as she is a nurse.

The absences consist of back pain which they said is caused by the pushing of a medicine trolley and having a near miss incident in which they could have slipped while entering a room (without putting the light on).

Nevertheless, they  has been off for 3 weeks and  has had reminders to send in a certificate from there GP. We have referred her to OH and just awaiting confirmation of her appointment. Until then, she would like to meet with us to discuss if she can  do half a day shifts and return to work.

We wouldn't be able to accommodate these adjustments as we have already had to cover her shifts using agency  and there would be no continuity of the care to our clientèle. Based on those grounds  and the fact she has not told us of any underlying conditions and she accepted the role on a full-time basis, could we reject  her offer ?

Also ,as we haven't received any sick notes to say why she is off, would we not still be requesting a fit note before she returns to work?

I would appreciate any feedback.



  • Keith

    | 10928 Posts

    Chartered Fellow

    7 Mar, 2017 06:49

    If you haven't received any sick notes then she is AWOL and you should be treating as such.

    Based on the lack of medical evidence for her condition and the operational problems caused by having someone in half the day I would say you should be ok to reject the partial return to work.

    You need to accelerate greatly your occupational health referral. If it's to have any effect it needs to be done quickly.

    Btw I can't see how having a near miss when you "could" have slipped can cause back pain?

  • In reply to Keith:

    Hi Keith,

    Thank you for the feedback.
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