Long-term sickness absence is defined as any absence lasting at least 28
calendar days. For frequent sickness absences, i.e. when an employee is
frequently absent from work for relatively short periods of unconnected
illnesses, please see the frequent short-term absence suite of documents.
This Invitation to a Stage 1 long-term sickness absence meeting should be
used to invite an employee to a formal review meeting under stage 1 of the
Company’s sickness absence management procedure as part of its long-term
sickness absence policy. Although the intention of this letter is to
encourage and facilitate the employee’s return to work, it also forms part
of a process that may later be needed to justify a fair dismissal.
The letter gives the employee the right to be accompanied to the meeting.
The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the likely length of the
employee’s ongoing sickness absence and what, if any, steps can be taken to
assist the employee in returning to work. These adaptations may include a
phased return, amended working hours or amended job duties.
The employer should consider if the meeting would be more productive or
easier for the employee if it is held off-site or the employee is allowed
to be accompanied by a member of their family.
An employee on long-term sickness absence may be suffering from some form
of disability, which means that reasonable adjustments have to be made for
them, including reasonable adjustments to any meeting arrangements. This
letter asks the employee what adaptations could be made to enable them to
attend the meeting.
A first stage formal warning will be issued in the review meeting and
confirmed in writing. See the Letter confirming the outcome of a Stage 1 long-term sickness