This Letter Inviting Employee to a Further Meeting to Discuss Sickness Absence should be used to invite an employee to attend a meeting when an employee has continued to be absent on sick leave and the employer wishes to consider:
The reasons for the absence;
• When the employee is likely to return to work (in cases of long-term absence);
• When the employee is likely to show improved attendance patterns (in the case of short-term, intermittent absences); and
• Whether the employee is able to return to their existing role.
If the employer has received medical evidence in respect of the employee e.g. from the employee’s GP or from an Occupational Health Adviser, this should be discussed at the meeting and the employee given the chance to comment. If, to date, no medical evidence has been obtained, the employer should consider if this is appropriate.
The meeting should also be used to discuss if there are any measures which could assist with the employee’s return to work, e.g. a phased return with the employee working fewer hours or carrying out different duties for an agreed period of time. If the employee has a disability, the employer is under a duty to make reasonable adjustments and the nature of these adjustments could also be discussed at the meeting.
A possible outcome from the meeting is that the employee may be warned that they are at risk of dismissal. Before dismissing an employee for ill health reasons, an employer should take reasonable steps to ascertain the medical position in respect of the sickness absence, consult with the employee and consider whether there is any suitable alternative employment available.
This template letter sets out the issues to be considered at the meeting, which will enable the employee to prepare for the meeting in advance and assist the employer in showing that it has followed a fair procedure.
This Letter Inviting Employee to a Further Meeting to Discuss Sickness Absence gives the employee the right to be accompanied to the meeting. This is not a legal right but is good practice and, again, assists in demonstrating that the employer has followed a fair procedure. See Guidance Notes For Employers: Sickness And Absence At Work for more information.
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