How do I manage an employee who is having excessive time off for medical appointments?
The key to managing absence, is to have an effective absence management policy for your business. Included in this, there should be clear `trigger’ points which trigger management action when an employee has had a certain amount of time off within a specific time period. If the employee is taking time off regularly for medical appointments, is it the case that an occupational health report is needed to assess the impact of their health on their job? Furthermore, employees should be encouraged to arrange appointments outside of working hours where possible, this should be communicated within their contract and your handbook. It is important to be in communication with the employee and ensure the absence policy is followed. Furthermore, employers should take advice when it is suspected an employee may suffer from a disability, causing the need to attend additional medical appointments.
What if a reasonable adjustment is too expensive?
Reasonable adjustments are steps which make it possible for the employee to remain in employment. If the employer did not know the employee was disabled or could not reasonably know the employee was disabled or the adjustment was ineffective, too costly, or not practicable then there may be a defence for the employer. Employers should do what they can to make reasonable adjustments, however this should not be to the detriment of their business.