One of our employees claims he has a serious illness and has had a lot of time off work. Colleagues have informed me he may be lying. He has a doctor's letter, but it could be a fake. Fellow directors
You should first write to his GP to establish this. You will need his consent but if he refuses, that is clearly unreasonable and you can then take further action against him
Julian Middleton, Freeth Cartwright, Leicester
The claim is of a serious illness, so I would ask an independent private specialist doctor or consultant in the field to carry out tests and examinations.
Jaffer Kapasi, Kapasi & Co, Oadby
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A second professional opinion from an independent doctor would be advisable. However, if you think you may need to go down the Mission Impossible route, then seek legal advice first.
Shahid Sheikh, Clifton Packaging, Braunstone
Proper professional advice should be taken from an HR consultant or employment lawyer before instructing any private detective. As much evidence as possible needs to be gathered to build a potential case to avoid potential persecution claims by the employee.
Rishi Chandarana, BPC Chandarana & Co, Leicester
This is one issue that really upsets the other workers. You must deal with this or it will cost you a fortune in lost productivity from the others. It's even worth paying the guy off to get rid of the problem.
Phil Atherton, Precept Optimum Performance, Quorn
These are serious allegations that need proving one way or the other – hire the detective and if proven confront the employee.
Nigel Toplis, Recognition Express, Bardon
You are right to have some concerns about using a private investigator. A better way to determine the extent of the employee's sickness is to obtain a medical report from an independent consultant or occupational health specialist. Then seek specialist legal advice.
Phil Pepper, Cummins Solicitors, Enderby
Your terms of employment should allow you to refer an employee to a doctor of your choice for an examination at your expense after a stated period. If not, you will need to tell him that you want an independent medical opinion.
Jeffrey C Rosenthal, Jeffrey Rosenthal, Leicester
You could ask his permission to speak to his doctor, or you could ask him to see an independent doctor of your choice for an health assessment. If he has nothing to hide, then he would not object.
Joyce Thomas, Park Veterinary Group, Leicester