I have a query in relation to sick leave. The issue I have is that an employee who has been certified as suffering from depression is absent from work on a very regular basis - he does come to work frequently but is absent for at least up to 5 days per month. The fact that he is in and out of work is very disruptive for our scheduling. However, I am unsure how to proceed as we are more used in these situations for people to be out on continuous long term sick leave rather than intermittently. He has already attended our Company doctor for review. The issue of the intermittent absences is something I would need help in addressing if possible – would you have any guidance on that for me?

Posted in : First Tuesday Q&A ROI on 1 October 2013
Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox
Issues covered:

A long term illness may in certain cases by considered a disability for the purposes of employment equality legislation. Depending on the determination of the medical practitioner, the employee may have a disability, and therefore there is a risk that any action taken by the Company to address the absenteeism could be considered discriminatory.

In the first instance, the employer should refer the employee for examination by a medical practitioner to establish his/her fitness to work (if this has not already been done). The employer should then engage with the employee in question regarding the issue in the context of the medical report received.

Under the Employment Equality Acts 1998 to

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Back to Q&A's This article is correct at 02/09/2015

The information in this article is provided as part of Legal-Island's Employment Law Hub. We regret we are not able to respond to requests for specific legal or HR queries and recommend that professional advice is obtained before relying on information supplied anywhere within this article.

Zelda Cunningham
Arthur Cox

The main content of this article was provided by Zelda Cunningham. Contact telephone number is +353 1 618 0000 or email zelda.cunningham@arthurcox.com

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