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News from the Courts – employee dismissal upheld over lack of medical reports to employer

This salesperson had a car accident in October 2008, and had denied telling his employer that he intended to pursue another career. Following a brief return to work, the employee was absent for nearly 5 months, and the Company asked for a detailed medical report on his condition. This was not furnished utnil December 2009. In March 2010, the Company wrote to the employee seeking an updated medical report, asking him to attend on March 26th. The report provided was not a medical report, but a report for his solicitor in relation to the accident, and was out of date.

The Company then tried to arrange a number of meetings, and eventually warned the employee that if he continued not to adhere to the requests made by the company, they would take it as an indication of not co-operating and the company may be required to consider the employee’s future employment.

A meeting finally took place in April, and the employee provided a ‘vague’ medical certificate. The employee was dismissed citing the obvious ‘lack of co-operation’.

The EAT stated that ‘it is not sufficient in such cases for an employee to merely periodically furnish vague medical certificates and expect an employer to be satisfied’.

(UD 2372/2010)