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Sick ….or pulling the wool over your eyes?

We all have the greatest sympathy for a member of domestic or household staff who are off sick. But what if the level of incapacity is far greater than is being reported, what then are your options?

We raise this issue in the light of a recent finding by an Employment Appeals Tribunal regarding an employee who sustained an injury, but subsequently exaggerated its effects to avoid a return to work.

The Tribunal held that an employee who continues to report sick in order to avoid attending work would be considered dishonest and potentially in fundamental breach of the trust and confidence that is at the heart of the employer/employee relationship.

This breach gives the employer the right to dismiss the employee. In reaching this judgement, the Employment Appeals Tribunal concluded that when an employee claims to be unable to attend work due to sickness, yet they are not actually ill or not as sick as they claim to be, their actions are not just misconduct but serious misconduct for which dismissal is within the range of an employers reasonable responses.

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