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unfair dismissal due to illness?
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unfair dismissal due to illness?

My partner has recently had a run of bad luck health wise, and as a result has had numerous absences from work. The first was due to an ongoing back problem which occasionally acts up. He still attended work but was put in the warehouse on quality control instead of his usual job as a driver. After this he contracted swine flu, so was obviously away from the work place for the required 4 days. He was then in hospital last week for a tonsillectomy, after which he caught an infection. So, he has found the recovery from it difficult and for the past week has been on pain meds which make him drowsy and dizzy. He was told the recovery period for this op in adults is around 20 days. His employer has been kept up to date at all times. These periods of ill health have all occurred within a 2 month time frame. His boss called him into the office today, and told him that he wants him in work by Wednesday or else he is terminating his contract. He is still on the pain meds and as his job is driving for 10 hours a day, I don't think it's safe. He is also still on antibiotics for the infection. In my opinion, he needs another week to be rid of infection and to be recovered enough to return to his duties safely. Can his employer do this?

Employment Law Clinic
The employer is fully within their rights to dismiss: attendance is a problem, and therefore can be dealt with as a disciplinary matter, which could result in dismissal. However, the employer should first be issuing a warning about the attendance, and giving your partner an opportunity to improve this. If this hasn't already happened, he shouldn't be dismissed immediately, although if he was previously warned, it would be fair to dismiss him if the poor attendance continues.

jackie m
UK If he is on the sick with a sick line then they cannot fire him but when he returns to work they can do what they want, he should explain to them that he will return to work but doctor advised him not to drive for another week or so because of the medication. Where I work if you are off more than 3 times you are given an interview and told if off again they will terminate your contract - depending what the illness was, - www.acas.org.uk

The one piece of information you haven't given us is-how long has he worked there If he's been employed less than a year then yes, they can dismiss him Has he submitted sick lines from his doctor each time? He really needs to take professional advice on this one, maybe from Citizens Advice Bureau,

Yes the can. Your partner has been too sick too often and over a two month period has been absent more times than present. His employer agreed to employ him by issuing him a contract that states he will work X amount of hours for x amount of salary your partner when taking the job agreed to those terms and has failed to keep his side of the agreement by being too sick too often. Therefore the employer will see this as failing to keep his side of the contractual agreement and on those grounds he (the employer) can terminate the contract. Your partner within two months has had three separate ailments bad luck i know but i personally would have asked the hospital for another appointment for the tonsillectomy this would then have allowed him to return to work and build his reputation with his employer before going off sick again. Now he has an infection and is looking at more time off his employer can't keep being sympathetic he has a job that needs doing and if your partner can't do it then he will terminate the contract and offer the position to someone else. The only thing your partner can do is go back to work take his medication with him and ask his employer if there is anything else he can do except driving. If he has holiday left to take he could also offer this up to compensate for the time he has had off already. Shouldn't have to i know but its better than losing his job.

The link the other person gave you, is for UK employees. I'm assuming you are in the US. It depends on where the company is located, how many employees, and how long he has worked there and whether he has completed required leave paperwork. If the company has more than 50 employees (total employees, within a 75 mile radius), then they are required to offer Family Medical Leave which provide job protection. If his company meets these requirements and you have worked 12 months & 1240 hours, then your bf would be eligible. - if these requirements are not met, than the company does not have to provide job protection. If he does meet these requirements, he needs to complete the FMLA job protection paperwork, which needs to be certified by a doctor.

Acas (Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service ... Contact details for Acas, which offers free, confidential and impartial advice on all employment rights issues ... Acas has a range of services which can help ... www.direct.gov.uk/en/Dl1/Directories/DG_10010857 - Cached These are the people you need to contact.

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