Pulling a "Sickie" the Legal implications

Tuesday, 17 May 2016 11:32

The facts of this case are these. A bus driver alleged that he slipped on some spilt water in the workplace, and badly injured himself. His employer suspected that he had either manufactured the accident, or was deliberately exaggerating his symptoms when he went on sick leave.

The employer arranged for him to be subject to covert surveillance, and as a result of that covert surveillance, a disciplinary process against the employee began.

The employer found that the employee had deliberately exaggerated his symptoms, and by virtue of the covert surveillance there appeared to be very little wrong with him. They dismissed him from gross misconduct.

The employee sued, and he was partially successful in the Employment Tribunal. The employer appealed to the Employment Appeal Tribunal and they found that where the employer formed a reasonable belief having conducted a reasonable investigation that the employee had deliberately exaggerated his symptoms, then this was a breach of the mutual trust and confidence that lie at the heart of any employment relationship and that fraud, which is what this was amounted to, was gross misconduct entitling the employer to dismiss the employee without notice.

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Author: Gareth Price e:

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