February 6th is national "sickie" day, so called because traditionally absenteeism is at it highest at this time of year. Employers in the public sector have in recent years being getting tough on high levels of sickness leave and copying the strategies used by the private sector. If you work in the public sector you may not be aware of what happens to your counter parts in the private sector.
It's brutal, it's unforgiving, it's final and there is no appeal. No ifs, no buts you're gone. How can it be fair and if it's not fair it must be unfair dismissal. Not if you work in the private sector in an industry that doesn't recognise trade unions and which has a bottomless pool of semi skilled workers to draw from. The strategy is simple you regularly dismiss employees for minor infringements of the rules or failing to meet stringent attendance targets. You do this secure in the knowledge that there are large numbers of people queuing up for the work which although not well paid does offers a guaranteed working week and paid annual leave.
When I say minor infringements I am referring to a driver scraping their vehicle, minimal damage no other vehicle involved automatic written warning, exceeding 10 days absence in any 12 month period second and final warning, further absence due to injury at work automatic disciplinary hearing and as have had to previous written warnings dismissal without appeal. Its three strikes and you're out.
Blair McPherson www.blairmcpherson.co.uk