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Can you be sacked for taking time off for Covid

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happyfella
happyfella Community member Posts: 504 Pioneering
edited June 2022 in Work and employment
Ok, so my daughter caught Cover around8 weeks ago. She phoned up her work and said she had caught covid but would like to come into work. The supermarket factory boss said that is fine come in. Then an hour later he phoned her up and said HR have said she is not allowed in for ten days due to having COVID. She was shocked. So, she took ten days off and went back.

When she went back she was told she could receive a warning a written warning for having time off for covid. She was annoyed and shocked. She heard nothing about it until monday when she was told that next week she will be having a meeting with her manager and HR. They have told her that she could receive and 98% will receive a written warning and she could get sacked.

They are putting it down to her time off rate. She was sent home six months ago by no choice of her own. Three hours before her shift was to end her manager said to her you do not look right and i am sending you home. She told them she did not want to go home and she was ok to carry on but her sent her home. Now, because he sent her home and because of Covid they are claiming her time off for ill health is under the threashold.

They have already sacked people for being off with Covid, and they have also sacked people who have had to go in and out of hospital.

She is part of a union but they are not interested. She spoke to the union rep at her place of work who are a waste of time and they have said they are in their right to sack her or give her a written warning and said there is no point in her having a union rep in the meeting.

She has worked there for a long time and cannot understand what is going on. They seem to be getting rid of people for no reason. Someone had a heart attach and had to have time off and they got rid of him. But, when it comes to some of the managers who have loads of time off nothing happens to them.

If she does get sacked can she go to a tribunal and why is the union not interested which is UNITE and why is this allowed to happen

Comments

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 16,143 Disability Gamechanger
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    I would suggest your daughter looks to ACAS for advice Please see: https://www.acas.org.uk/    &  https://www.acas.org.uk/advice


  • happyfella
    happyfella Community member Posts: 504 Pioneering
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    I did send a email to ACAS with full details and then got a reply that they cannot reply via email and only over the phone
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    Hi there 

    In simple terms yes they can take action which could result in dismissal but they should not dismiss until after a written warning has been 8ssued which should state improvements required . They can then issue final written warning if improvements not met before going to dismissal 

    Her company should have qn attendance management policy which your daughter should request 

    The fact that they said she couldn't work due 5o covid and that they sent her home before bears no relevance 

    Some companies will make adjustments for anyone who is classed as disabled under the equality act and allow more absence if it is related to their disability 

    She has the right to have a work colleague attend the meeting with her 

    Also if she is in the union and paying fees they should attend regardless of if the employer is following policy that's what union fees are paid for 
  • happyfella
    happyfella Community member Posts: 504 Pioneering
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    it makes no sense. The first time six months ago, her manager told her to go home as she looked unwell, but she was fine. Then she got covid more recent and she phoned her boss to let him know. He said ok it is fine to come in. But then she got the call an hour later to say she was not allowed into work due to having covid. By daughter was available for work. She is fully vacinnated, so how come she is being victimized like this when it was them who told her she was not allowed in work. This makes no sense.

    I have already said if she gets a warning then i will go to all the newspapers and i will instruct a solicitor. It was them who told her she could not work, she was happy to go in with a mask and work. this makes no sense and her union Unite are a waste of time
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    As I said its not about the reason 8r that they told get not to work however she should challenge this at the meeting 

    Attendance is all about fulfilling your contractual obligation to attend work on a regular basis 

    Solicitors won't help at this stage she can only be represented by a work colleague or union rep

    Newspapers again are unlikely to get involved and it won't help your daughter all it will do is slate the company 

    Get the attendance management policy to ensure they are following their own process 

    See what happens at the meeting it may not come to any action you are just pre thinking the outcome 

    If any warning is issued she will have the right to appeal 
  • happyfella
    happyfella Community member Posts: 504 Pioneering
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    my daughter has always had great attendance. As mentioned she has been off twice and both of them were down to her manager. As mentioned the first time was when her manager said she did not look well and sent her home a few hours early. She told him she was fine and wanted to stay. But he refused and sent her home. And then with covid, she was happy to go to work but it was them who did not want her to go to work. If she does get a warning then i will seek legal advice and i will send a press release out to all newspapers about this, as it would be shocking for her to get a warning, and why wait more than five weeks after she returned back to work.

    Thank you for the advice
  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
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    OK have it your own way but there are no legal procedures to put into play here all you could do is apply to employment tribunal and solicitors fees for this would likely be more than any compensation and you can only do this if all company complain procedures have been exhausted first 

    I keep saying the circumstances to the absence can be challenged but it is still absence and she should also point out to them her previous good attendance 

    I won't give anymore advice as it clearly isn't what you want to hear 
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