‘Pulling a Sickie’
20 April 2016
Metroline West v Ajaj
This case concerned a bus driver who the employer suspected was claiming to be more sick than he actually was. The suspicions were confirmed when the employer arranged covert surveillance of the employee attending a sickness absence interview. This revealed that the level of mobility exhibited by the employee was inconsistent with what he was claiming. Subsequent surveillance of the employee demonstrated this yet further and the Company commenced disciplinary proceedings, which ultimately ended in dismissal.
The employee claimed unfair dismissal and the case was taken to the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT). What the EAT found was that the actions of the employee were dishonest and a fundamental breach of contract. This breach of contract constituted a reasonable grounds for dismissal.
It must be stressed that this particular case involved an employee who had clearly been shown to be exaggerating his symptoms. An employer who fails to conduct a reasonable investigation, compile sufficient evidence or follow a fair process will almost certainly be facing a claim for unfair dismissal. However, if you are able to show that there is a strong probability that the employee has been dishonest in reporting their sickness, this case confirms that dismissal may be a viable option.
At Alpha, we have a vast experience in providing bespoke, practical advice on HR and employment law issues. This includes guiding clients through every stage of the dismissal process. We are proud of our commercial outlook and do not sit on the fence. If you would like to have Alpha on your side, please feel free to contact us.
Martin Kaye have provided advice in some highly complex HR matters and they continue to provide our day to day HR advice through their "ALPHA" HR scheme. They offer a very commercial and pragmatic approach and we have always been impressed by the level of service. The members of staff are approachable and easy to deal with.
Eurofilms Extrusion Ltd
Martin Kaye have provided us with employment and HR advice for several years and we have been very pleased with the level of service and quality of advice provided. We have no hesitation in recommending the team to any organisation which wishes to manage its employment related enquiries.
D Wauchope, Company Secretary
McPhillips (Wellington) Ltd
As a large employer of cleaning personnel, we require expert and prompt employment related advice. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" service provides this in a clear and robust manner. We have been extremely impressed with the service and would thoroughly recommend them to any employer requiring expert HR & employment support.
J Conry, Chairman
It is important for us to create a close relationship with our advisors. Martin Kaye's "ALPHA" HR service is excellent. It enables us to work closely with our lawyers particularly in the complex area of employment law.
Johnny Hobeika, Operations Manager
Sanita (UK) Ltd
ALPHA is an excellent, reliable, professional service which is an integrated part of our business that we could not do without. This service is part of our structure and provides staff and business with the professional HR Support it requires - Invaluable
Martin Kaye are rated
out of 5
based on 21 testimonials.