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Sick note

With generous sick benefits now the norm, it can occasionally, give rise to abuse. Checking the veracity of claims made by employees can be problematical and conducting an investigation requires sensitivity and skill. It is necessary to work within parameters that take into account the various laws that exist to protect the rights of individuals in the workplace.

Nonetheless, if an employer has reasonable concerns about a particular employee, it makes sense to establish, discreetly, that the whole truth is being told. If someone is ‘swinging the lead’ other employees are quick to notice and it is not long before resentment builds. In a fairly short time absenteeism can get out of hand.

Our client had such concerns about an employee who had been off work for a long period. The family doctor was providing ‘Sick notes’, but they only found their way to the employer after numerous reminders. The employee concerned had a history of absenteeism.

Discreet surveillance at the employee’s home address, quickly established the employee was in fact nowhere near as incapacitated as had been claimed. Within three days we had evidence showing the employee working part-time in a shop situated conveniently close to their home.

The surveillance exercise was repeated and was supported by video footage. Together, these showed quite clearly the employee was working in gainful employment whilst claiming benefit from the employer.

Once confronted with the evidence, the employee accepted dismissal and the employer was able to achieve a satisfactory termination of contract.

If you have a similar problem please call +44 (0)1986 892006 or email Maybe we can help - initial consultation is free.