Phoning in sick 3 times the past year...

wormvortex

Member
....and now I have a disciplinary hearing.

Now I was generally ill for 2 of them, the 3rd one I really can't remember though was more than likely a killer hangover as it was back in August last year and I used to heavily drink back then when I went out. Problem is all 3 are Saturdays that I missed and I'm worried they are going to pick up on this and asusme that I was too hungover all 3times.

Doesn't make it better that two of my sick days were down to me having headaches, which the manager at the time said wasn't a real valid reason for missing work. Though in actual fact I rarely get headaches but when I do they are really serious and I can't even stand up and walk without nearly fainting.

Would they have to accept these reasons of mine or would they be able to take the matter further as I've never been to the doctors about any of my sick days as I'm not one to go to the doctors unless it's life or death (and if it was that bad I'd probably be in A&E:))

I know they can't sack me over it and the most they can give me is a first warning but I'd still rather not have it go that far.
 

shahedz

Distinguished Member
personally i can't see them doing anything but, if you worked 48 saturdays a year and called in sick on 3 occasions it would arise suspicions with me as to how genuine they are , or whether they are the cause of a hang over.
 

sdb123

Distinguished Member
I rarely get headaches but when I do they are really serious and I can't even stand up and walk without nearly fainting.
Surely that's reason enough to go to the doctor's and get yourself checked over. :confused:
 

DJT75

Distinguished Member
Just tell them that for at least 2 of them you were ill from the Saturday right through to the following Tuesday/Wednesday & only went into work on the Wednesday to not look so bad - they'll be none the wiser.

Sounds to me like they're taking the ****, they must have other reasons. They either want you out or are clamping down on everyone. 3 times in a year? If it were 3 times in a month or week I might call you in, but not a year. If you're phoning in as you're supposed to be they don't have a case.
 

wormvortex

Member
Surely that's reason enough to go to the doctor's and get yourself checked over. :confused:
yeah I'm always worried though that they will find something seriously wrong if I go to the doctors for anything so avoid it. That and I haven't been to the doctors in 10+ years and don't even know who mine is:rolleyes:

Sounds to me like they're taking the ****, they must have other reasons. They either want you out or are clamping down on everyone. 3 times in a year? If it were 3 times in a month or week I might call you in, but not a year. If you're phoning in as you're supposed to be they don't have a case.
It's not just me it's company policy. He went through it with me today. Said that if you have two days in a year you get an advice meeting, 3 and you get the disciplinary (like me) then skipped to 7sick in one year which is grounds for being sacked if they chose two.
 

sdb123

Distinguished Member
yeah I'm always worried though that they will find something seriously wrong if I go to the doctors for anything so avoid it. That and I haven't been to the doctors in 10+ years and don't even know who mine is:rolleyes:
Get yourself along asap. Not knowing can cause all sorts of problems in itself. :)
 

Iccz

Member
Sounds like sugar levels or dehydration, I get headaches like that sometimes, a drink and some sugar usually sorts it out.
Might be worth going for a checkup just to be sure.


As for sick days the worst they can do is warn you for it really. Would be unfair dismissal for them to get rid of you for that.
 

Ianfromnotts

Well-known Member
Firstly I cant condone taking time off for hangovers

But 2 wrongs dont make a right and

I don't see how they can hold a disciplinary hearing before they have had an investigative meeting going straight to a disciplinary hearing implies they have already found you guilty of breach of your contract of employment or company rules.

Is this 3 times off ill = equals disciplinary action actually written down and given to you in a company handbook or your contract ?

I would check your company handbook, disciplinary rules and contract closely. Check all they are doing and saying is as specified. Take a witness and record everything that it said.

I cant see cant see then doing much more than threaten you with more disciplinary action if you are off again.

Once you have been to the meeting you can decide what to do next.

Find another job
Appeal against the ruling
Move for constructive dismissal via courts/acas/union
etc
etc

There are pros and cons to each approach but often it is easiest just to move on

Fighting the good fight may appeal but it is often a long and drawn out process in which no one really wins. Personally i would keep my head down and look for a better company to work for
 

unique

Moderator
is it a formal disciplinary hearing, and if so then presumably they gave you a letter to invite you to the hearing, thus what is the exact reason given?

if it's not a formal disciplinary hearing you can't be given an official warning. even if it is a FDH the end result may not end in a warning. even if it does, you can appeal, and if it is upheld, then as long as you don't do it again within the stated period then you start back at square one

part of your problem is you took a day off due to a hangover. if you admit that then they may give you a formal warning which would be fair enough. if you lie about it and are subsequently found out, they may find that grounds for gross misconduct and you could be dismissed for that.

if you access the forms at work, and you have just admitted that you took a day off due to a hangover, then i'd suggest you don't lie about it, as they may know the sites you surf and possibly your username and be able to read what you posted. if you are under investigation it may be something they've looked into already

i'd suggest take it on the chin and don't do it again and the formal warning will be removed from your record in either 6 to 12 months. if it's just a part time job i wouldn't worry too much about it really. it's not worth creating a fuss over it
 

wormvortex

Member
They said they'd send me a letter soon and I don't use a computer at work so they won't be able to check that :) Have never phoned in sick with hangover as an excuse and I honestly have no idea if that was the case back in August. I doubt it though, I've been to work many times hungover and never considered phoning in sick for any of them as they don't effect me enough.
 

Toasty

Distinguished Member
Sounds like your 2nd two headaches were possibly migraines? If so, use this terminology instead. An old colleague of mine occasionally had time off due this and its not a pleasant experience having a bad one.
 

Miyazaki

Novice Member
Consult the CAB mate.

Your employers are taking the ****.

I'd be tempted to take their interview letter as evidence of constructive dismissal.
 

unique

Moderator
They said they'd send me a letter soon and I don't use a computer at work so they won't be able to check that :) Have never phoned in sick with hangover as an excuse and I honestly have no idea if that was the case back in August. I doubt it though, I've been to work many times hungover and never considered phoning in sick for any of them as they don't effect me enough.
to comply with good practice, in order to give someone a formal warning the employer should give notice in writing of a formal disciplinary hearing and give the employee normally a few days notice to prepare to answer the set allegations. the employee should also be advised they have the right to accompanyment at the meeting. after the hearing it should be adjorned to consider the evidence and for further investigation if necessary, in certain circumstances there can be a further hearing, and then ultimately the formal decision which should be confirmed in writing. the employee should then be given the right to appeal. as long as the correct formal steps are followed then the employer should be protected in a tribunal

as none of this has happened yet, it could well be an informal disciplinary hearing, particularly if this is common practice for being off work 3 times in a set period, as by simply having informal disciplinary meetings it can resolve the issues with the employee without having to resort to more serious action, and it can be done quicker with less steps

from what you've said there are absolutely no grounds for constructive dismissal. if an employee feels they have to resign and claim constructive dismissal they have to follow a particular process which involves making the employer aware of the issues to give them an opportunity to resolve them. if you fail to do this and resign and claim constructive dismissal you are likely to lose your case in the event of an employment tribunal. you should only claim constructive dismissal for particularly serious issues, and only after you have made formal steps to resolve the issues with your employer first

if you do receive a letter as invitation to a formal disciplinary hearing you can contact ACAS or CAB for advice if you don't have a union representative, which i'm assuming you don't. if you do have a union representative you can ask them to attend the formal disciplinary hearing with you. if it's not an official hearing then you don't have to be given the right to have someone accompany you, but then the employer shouldn't be giving any formal warnings that can lead to dismissal

employers also need to ensure they act fairly in their actions, but unless it got to the stage where your employment was terminated as a result of exhausting the disciplinary process (employees aren't normally dismissed for the offence, but for running out of warnings) and your employer didn't follow the appropriate procedures, then you won't have much luck in the event of a tribunal

as it stands, it's unlikely your employment will be terminated as a result, the worst that could likely happen would be a formal verbal or written warning (on the assumption you haven't had a warning for this before), so it's nothing to worry about really. just don't lie, as if you are caught out then that could lead to dismissal, and may be considered gross misconduct if you are found lying about your absence, particularly if you receive payment during the absence, as that could be considered making a fraudulent claim. you say you don't remember why you were off that time, so tell them that. it's not an unreasonable reply not to remember the exact reason you were absent on one day about eight months ago.

your employer is probably just trying to assertain if you have a more serious or ongoing problem that may affect your attendance in future

here is more about constructive dismissal

http://www.direct.gov.uk/en/Employment/Employees/RedundancyAndLeavingYourJob/DG_10026696
 

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