Medical incapacity

Updated: Sep 11, 2019

When considering whether you can keep a job open for an employee on long term sick leave you should take the following factors in account:

  • The extent of the incapacity and safe return to work prognosis;

  • Contractual obligations;

  • Importance of the role and your ability to cover it;

  • Size of company and available resources;

  • Cause of the incapacity - is work related? Domestic violence?

You need to make a reasonable inquiries to establish the incapacity and find out what reasonable steps need to be taken to support a return to work.

The Employment Court has said a reasonable employee will consider not only medical evidence that it has obtained, but also evidence provided by the employee. You must also consider redeployment as an option before considering termination for medical incapacity.

When considering termination for medical incapacity, you must balance the interests of the business and the employee. This means considering practical business requirements and fairness to the employee, who is already a victim of misfortune.

If you need help addressing a medical incapacity situation, give McKone Consultancy a call today or email us at tony@mckoneconsultancy.com

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Lower Hutt, New Zealand