On this occasion I was brought into the situation once the employee had been absent from work for a period of six weeks, with the reason for absence being “Back Pain”. In this instance the Company had received two medical certificates, both for “Back Pain”, from the individuals GP, no other processes had been commenced.
At the point that I was brought in for consultation, the Company had received a further medical certificate for the individual for one month, giving the same reasons for absence.
I initially advised the Company to conduct a meeting with the individual, either at the individuals home or place of work, giving the employee 48 hours notice of the meeting. Through conversations with the absent employee, a suitable time, date and location for the meeting was agreed. Once the meeting was agreed, I provided the Company with a suitable letter for the situation, covering all of the legal aspects relevant at this point.
Whilst following the relevant procedure, the Long Term Absence situation was resolved with the employee returning to work, on temporary reduced hours and lighter duties which were increased over a period of three weeks. The Company had a medical report which explained the cause for the absence, giving increased understanding of the individuals abilities.
In addition to the above scenario, ABC HR have also dealt with many other Long Term Absence situations and numerous short term/sporadic absence situations – some even resulting in the dismissal of individuals concerned.