Do you know what to do when an employee takes off sick on the day of her disciplinary hearing?
You had a disciplinary hearing scheduled with your employee, Kate, yesterday. But yesterday, before the hearing, she emailed saying she wouldn't be in. She also attached a medical certificate. She said she couldn't attend the hearing because she's sick. BNut she didn't disclose exactly what's wrong with her.
What do you do now? Do you postpone the hearing? Is that what's most fair?
Also, how do you know Kate is really sick? She might just be faking it to get out of the hearing...
Read on to find out exactly what you should do in a case like this.
Determine if the employee is genuinely sick
If Kate is genuinely sick, it would be unfair not to postpone the hearing. But what's regarded genuine sickness?
In a nutshell: If a registered medical practitioner has deemed Kate unfit to work, you can be sure she's genuinely sick. Make sure the doctor has signed the certificate and that the date and time of the visit is indicated.
If the employee is genuinely sick, postpone the hearing
In these circumstances, you'd need to postpone the hearing to a date after the return date indicated on the certificate.
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But then, state in the notice you send to Kate that you won't make any further postponements. Also add that the hearing will continue in her absence if she fails to show up.
If the employee is absent again, use your discretion
Should Kate miss another hearing (again supported by a certificate), use your discretion whether or not to allow a further postponement. Let it depend on whether you think she's genuinely sick.
If you have reason to believe Kate is abusing sick leave
(for example, as appears from her attendance record), you can either continue the hearing in her absence or allow at least one final postponement.