This can be a tricky one for an employer. You have an employee who takes more time off sick than the company average but what should you do? You don’t want to fall foul of employment law by discriminating against someone who is genuinely experiencing health problems and end up in a tribunal. It’s bad enough when the excess sick leave is blatant. It’s much harder though when the sickness record is just a bit worse than everyone else’s. It may be that this employee does a good job when they are there so you don’t want to lose them unnecessarily. At the same time though, you can’t afford to carry passengers and you have the rest of the workforce to consider, you have to be fair to them and avoid them picking up the wrong message from the way you deal with this situation.
You need the answer to some questions: Is the problem employee’s sickness genuine or is he or she malingering? How can you be sure? If they are faking sickness then why are they doing so? Taking the last question first: there can be several reasons; they may be unhappy at work; they may have domestic problems; in the worst cases they may be moonlighting, working for one of your competitors, in which case who knows what they are telling them about your business? Or maybe they are setting up a business of their own in competition with you. In the latter case, are they in a position to poach your customers?
In other words, fraudulent sick leave can easily be much more than just a nuisance to you. It could cost you far more than a few weeks sick pay! You really do need those questions to be answered, but how do you get the answers? Well, the most cost-effective way is to seek the help of a firm of private investigators. However it is vital that you choose the right firm, so what do you look for?
In Britain there is as yet no system of licensing for private investigators, enquiry agents or private detectives. Anyone can adopt one of those titles and set up in business so you do have to be very careful. Reputable firms and individuals will be members of one of the professional bodies which set codes of practice to which their members must conform and their operations will conform to the standards of the SIA.
You should choose an operator which is in a position to deploy sufficient trained and experienced operatives to enable enquiries and surveillance if needed to be carried out discreetly and effectively. It may even be necessary to deploy undercover workers in your company to establish the true extent of the problem. You need to be sure that all evidence produced by the investigators has been obtained legally and so will be admissible in court or tribunal if necessary.
Based in Preston, Lancashire, EJM Investigations fulfil all these requirements and offer much more besides. EJM will operate anywhere in the UK and even abroad and have access to a network of other investigators with local knowledge in other areas. That’s the kind of operation you need to engage to help you resolve your fraudulent sick leave problem in the most cost effective manner.