How should an employer deal with an employee who calls in sick on a bank holiday?

Employers should devise and communicate clear rules on how they will address the issue of staff absenteeism on bank holidays. This approach should assist in deterring employees from taking time off for sickness when they are not really ill.

The policy should provide that employees who call in sick may be subject to disciplinary action unless the employer is satisfied that the sickness was genuine. Employees can be required to provide medical evidence that the absence was due to sickness, but employers should keep in mind the practical difficulties of requiring someone who is genuinely ill to visit their GP and obtain a doctor's certificate for one day's absence. Many GPs are unwilling to provide certification for very short periods of absence, and may charge for this service. The employer should agree to meet the cost of any doctor's certificate provided if this is the case.