Areas of Law / Employment

How can I find out whether one of my employees has really been ill when he takes a day off work? With doctor-patient confidentiality I’m sure I won’t get any information from his GP.

There’s no way of checking without sending someone round to the house of the suspected malingerer. Even then, who’s to decide whether or not the absent employee is really ill, assuming he’s at home? Not everyone will see a GP for an illness lasting a day or two. A partial solution may be to address the problem in employees’ contracts; there’s no statutory entitlement to sick pay for the first three working days an employee has been absent, and you could make payment conditional on some form of reporting system. Discuss it with your solicitor.

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