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Topic: Disciplinary, capability and dismissal

letter to doctor seeking advice on whether employee fit to attend a disciplinary hearing
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Letter to doctor seeking advice on whether employee fit to attend a disciplinary hearing

Letter to doctor seeking advice on whether employee fit to attend a disciplinary hearing

If an employee has been signed off sick during the disciplinary process, whilst you will probably tolerate the absence for a short period of time, there will come a point when you need to progress the disciplinary hearing to its conclusion. Use our letter to doctor seeking advice on whether employee fit to attend a disciplinary hearing if this becomes necessary.

Alternative options

If the employee’s sickness absence becomes prolonged, firstly write to them in a sympathetic manner and offer them the following options for the disciplinary hearing:

 to hold the hearing at their home, on neutral territory or by telephone

 to send their statement to the allegations in writing if they feel they’re not fit to attend a hearing in person

 to send along a representative (such as a relative, work colleague or friend) to act on their behalf if, again, they think they’re not fit to attend personally.

Warn them that a failure to reply to your letter could result in the postponed hearing being held in their absence.

Too ill to come

If they then write back saying they want to attend personally but that they're still too sick at the moment, use our Letter to Doctor Seeking Advice on Whether Employee Fit to Attend a Disciplinary Hearing.  You will first need the employee's consent to approach their doctor for a medical report under the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 and you will need to comply with data protection requirements for the processing of special categories of personal data (as this includes health information) - including having a lawful basis for processing - in the same way you would need to do this in a long-term incapacity scenario.

In absentia

Ultimately, you may have no choice but to proceed with a disciplinary hearing in the employee’s absence if they are showing no signs of returning to work and are not co-operating with your requests.  If this happens, ensure you take careful notes and send them to the employee for their comment before the chair of the hearing takes a final disciplinary decision.  Always give a right of appeal.

 

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