We currently have an employee who has been on long term sick leave since the end of July 2007 after an accident in the workplace where she suffered a complex fracture to her elbow.
As you can imagine, after 18 months of absence, the duties of the role she originally held have had to be fulfilled by someone else and have now changed substantially due to changes in the business over that timeframe.
Her Manager and myself have had several meetings with her to discuss her progress and recovery and to talk to her about her plans for returning to work and shortly after the last meeting (where we gently tried to extract a date from her) she submitted another sick note with not only her fractured elbow, but also depression which is obviously a concern.
I am currently trying to contact her to get an update from her as her last sick note expired last week and have had no luck over the last week by phone so am now contemplating writing to her to get the ball rolling.
Can anyone give me some advice as to what route you would recommend I look at – i.e. whether I should be requesting my own medical reports now as its been so long or should I try and get her to come in for another meeting to discuss where we go from here?
It is probably pertinent for me to mention here too that this employee has submitted a claim against the Company for her injury and looks to receive a substantial amount of money should she be successful which would probably mean she wouldnt need to work again which makes me wonder whether this is the reason she is ‘dragging her feet’ a little. This claim has also left a bit of bad feeling amongst the Senior Management in respect to her returning to work which, although would not stop her, needs to be borne in mind for the future.
I dont want to be heavy handed in dealing with this as it is a sensitive issue and has legal ramifications if dealt with wrongly but I need to get the situation resolved, whether this be her coming back or exiting the business.
Any help would be gratefully received!