Can You Get Fired For Calling In Sick? Unfair Dismissal Following Sickness

Can You Get Fired For Calling In Sick - In certain circumstances, an employer has the right to fire an employee due to illness, provided they first follow the proper procedure. If an employer dismisses someone unable to work due to illness, the individual may have a claim for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination. This article will share information regarding Can You Get Fired For Calling In Sick.

by Samina Yusuf Laila | Updated Nov 24, 2022

Can You Get Fired For Calling In Sick? Unfair Dismissal Following Sickness
Source: Twitter

Can You Get Fired For Calling In Sick?

In most cases, your employer cannot fire you for calling in sick. However, if you have experienced a change in your employment due to calling in sick or taking a medical leave, you must seek legal counsel as soon as possible. Understanding your employment contract and your employment rights is critical.

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee without cause. The reason may be invalid and, in many cases, illegal in many states.

Unfair Dismissal Following Sickness

An employee who has been with the company for at least two years is protected from unfair dismissal and can file a claim in the employment tribunal to enforce this protection if fired for being absent due to illness.

Dismissing an employee with two or more years of service will be considered unfair unless the employer can demonstrate the following:

  • It had a potentially legitimate reason for dismissal.

  • In the circumstances, it acted reasonably.

  • In carrying out the clearance, it followed a fair procedure.

Capability, or the ability to perform the job, is a potentially reasonable reason that would cover sickness. However, when absences are for unrelated health reasons (rather than an underlying condition), the employer may dismiss for any other significant reason (SOSR). In this case, they may argue that the disruption caused by the employee's absence is no longer manageable and harms the employer's business.

An employment tribunal will then consider whether the employer's decision to dismiss the employee at that time was within the range of reasonable responses. While an employer has the right to take action at some point, it must still have given the employee adequate notice that dismissal was possible if attendance did not improve.

What Is A Fair Dismissal Procedure?

The ACAS Code on disciplinary and grievance procedures does not apply to dismissals for incapacity due to illness. However, this does not excuse an employer from following a procedure before dismissal.

In cases of long-term illness, an employer should obtain an up-to-date medical report to determine the individual's likely prognosis and whether any improvement can be expected in short to medium term.

An employer must also investigate, ideally in consultation with the employee, whether any changes can be made to help the employee return to work. The employer must ensure that it consults with the employee adequately and allows them to make representations of it. Appropriate warnings that the employer will consider dismissing the employee should also be given.

In cases of short-term absence, obtaining a medical report before dismissal may not be appropriate. Employers, on the other hand, should:

  • Conduct a thorough examination of the attendance record and the reasons for the absence

  • Please consult with the employee and allow them to make representations.

  • If things do not improve, give an appropriate warning about dismissal.

Disclaimer: The above information is for general informational purposes only. All information on the Site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation or warranty of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, availability or completeness of any information on the Site.

Can You Get Fired For Calling In Sick - FAQs

1. Can You Get Fired For Calling In Sick?

In most cases, your employer cannot fire you for calling in sick. However, if you have experienced a change in your employment due to calling in sick or taking a medical leave, you must seek legal counsel as soon as possible.

2. What is Unfair disissal of employee?

Dismissing an employee with two or more years of service will be considered unfair unless the employer can demonstrate the following:

  • It had a potentially legitimate reason for dismissal.

  • In the circumstances, it acted reasonably.

  • In carrying out the clearance, it followed a fair procedure.

3. What Is A Fair Dismissal Procedure?  

The ACAS Code on disciplinary and grievance procedures does not apply to dismissals for incapacity due to illness. However, this does not excuse an employer from following a procedure before dismissal.

4. When can a termination be termed wrongful?

Wrongful termination occurs when an employer fires an employee without cause.

5. What is the ACAS Code?

The ACAS codes of practice are advisory documents created by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) and approved by parliament.

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