medical certificate

I have contacted my HR team about this and they are being very slow. It would be helpful to know if anyone here knows what I can and can't ask. I am not going to say anything until HR advise me, but this won't be until January now, and it is on my mind. (I will also try and forget about it over Christmas)

I have a direct report who has had lots of time off for various things. The situation had become a bit farcical as he wasn't doing any work and he was never available. He used an array of reasons over a few months, some very silly, but most of them to do with terminally ill relatives so I was respectful of his need for time off (if a little suspicious). Just as I was trying to address his lack of work and where he needed to improve, he was signed off with stress at home, and the medical note was the first time he produced something to back up his need for time off. This lasted 6 weeks.

He has recently come back with a medical note (dated 19th) saying he may be fit for work with a phased return to help him sort out domestic problems and attend therapy for his depression (home related, not work related), which I can accommodate and I have been accommodating all week.

However, by email and in person, he has told me on 6 occasions in 4 days that his GP (the same one who wrote the fit for work note) has also been monitoring his heart for the last 7 days and that he has had multiple tests which are inconclusive and he requires further tests because there is a problem.
The medical note does not mention anything about his heart, or the need for time off for appointments to monitor it, yet all this has been going on whilst the GP wrote the fit for work note.

I want to challenge him on this, but I can't until HR assist me in case I say the wrong thing. I am fairly sure he is making it up. I think someone down the pub has give him bad advice: "tell them its your heart. they can't make you do anything if you tell them your heart is bad."

If his GP hasn't mentioned any heart investigations on a fit note, then I don't need to accommodate extra time off for appointments, and I'd like to request back-up info when he uses his heart as a reason why he can't do something or as a reason for needing time off. If he's lying I also need to address this. The rest of the team are taking on his work and it is affecting team morale.


  • Just ask for the hospital appointment letter. That's reasonable if you are giving paid time to go to it.
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  • DullGreyGuy
    DullGreyGuy Posts: 9,158
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    What's the company policy for time off for own medical appointments?

    How long has been with the company?
  • Marcon
    Marcon Posts: 9,999
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    I want to challenge him on this, but I can't until HR assist me in case I say the wrong thing. I am fairly sure he is making it up. I think someone down the pub has give him bad advice: "tell them its your heart. they can't make you do anything if you tell them your heart is bad."

    So wait until HR assist you - advice I gave previously and you didn't like it then, but it's still good advice:

    Chase up HR.
    Googling on your question might have been both quicker and easier, if you're only after simple facts rather than opinions!  
  • Wait for HR to respond, they are responsible for implementing company policy on attendance, sickness and medical appointments and I imagine that you cannot formally discipline or challenge the employee on these matters yourself.  It’s easy to do or say the wrong thing and jeopardise any formal disciplinary or dismissal procedures.

    if you doubt the GPs fit notes, raise it with HR who will have to write to the employee to ask for their permission to approach the GP for a medical report. The GP will probably charge for this.

    There may be a case for dismissal if the employee continues to be unfit and thus unavailable for work.
  • Brie
    Brie Posts: 9,298
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    How long has he been working for the company?  If it's under 2 years there may be an easy (ish) way to get rid.  If it's more than 2 years then you'd have to go through the whole unfit to work, unable to do required duties capability lark.  
    "Never retract, never explain, never apologise; get things done and let them howl.”
  • You had over 20 replies on your last post which I assume is the same person.. Did you follow any of the advice given then?
  • wow! there are quite a few of you who are rude and should probably just not post any replies. If you don't like me posting again, please just ignore the post.

    I have followed previous advice and my HR team are simply ignoring the matter. The heart issues are a new development since that original post, and its the first time I feel there is a clear opportunity to check if he is lying. I am trying not to let this worry me but I have a whole team to manage, and its affecting team morale. My workload is also through the roof and I have had to change Christmas plans because I had to cancel my annual leave. I wrote to my HR team very clearly 5 days ago and I have had no response. When we are back on 2nd January I am going to tell HR that I can no longer sustain the workload, nor manage the situation and that I need an immediate response from them. In the meantime I was hoping somebody might have been in a similar position, and could have given me some insight. I have email HR with what I would like done to support the situation. Sometimes with departments that aren't responding, if you give them a plan, they find it easier to get on with things.
  • This is a tricky one. 

    With a fit note asking for accommodations for specific conditions it does then become difficult to know how to support if another condition has arisen and it isn’t mentioned on the current fit note. 

    Previous non-working behaviour doesn’t help matters and I can understand your suspicions. 

    My instinct is to keep a record of any future appointments and refer to sickness absence policy (if you have one) for attending medical appointments. If further absence comes up that isn’t reasonable ie per policy then there is no reason why you can’t ask for evidence ie appointment letter.  

    And keep asking HR for advice and keep them in the loop even if they are useless, it will help you later on. 

    Being a manager in this type of situation is so hard, I feel for you! 
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