Attached is a link to a useful recent decision of the WRC in relation to the dismissal of an employee on long term sick leave.
In this case the employee had been absent on sick leave for a total of eighteen months. His GP had furnished his employer with a medical certificate indicating that he “should be fit to return to work between three and six months“. The employer however dismissed the employee on the basis that the employee could not give a definitive return to work date.
The WRC concluded that “Having received an indication of a possible return to work date through the doctor’s medical certificate, the Respondent should have utilised its discretion as per its sick pay policy to have the Complainant independently assessed to ascertain if the suggested time frame for return to work between three to six months was a reasonable prospect or not”