Classic issue – I have an employee under an existing disciplinary sanction, who now has another ‘issue’ over capability and have asked them to attend another disciplinary meeting. They have responded by getting themselves signed off sick with ‘stress’ for 2 months. Whilst I appreciate one should not really conduct a disciplinary (in absence) if the employee is signed off sick, is there a reasonable time frame in which I could invite the employee to attend a hearing – say towards the end of the two months? or should I just wait until they return to work, which could be some time? Also, does anyone have any experience of what is reasonable time from being signed off to asking employee to attend occupational health advisor? I was thinking after about 4 weeks in this case? and also would I be within employers rights to ask employee if they could give me an update on progress from their GP after 4 weeks (seems a bit unusual to me that GP has signed off for 2 months) but then this will take the employee over the 12 months service line so am not really that surprised!!! any advice much appreciated on this classic thorny game plan.

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