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How to deal with disruptive employees - part II

Workers who take days off sick cost the UK economy £6.5 billion a year. Find out how to reduce the impact on your business.

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James Archer is a conflict resolution expert, who has written a two part guide to dealing with disruptive employees. In the first part of this blog, we looked at various scenarios where employees may need to be disciplined. In part two we continue the theme. Workers who take days off sick cost the UK economy £6.5 billion a year. All employees should understand that attendance is important, that their attendance will be monitored and that lengthy periods of ill health or persistent absenteeism could lead to disciplinary action. The correct way for an employer to handle the situation will depend largely on whether the absence is long-term or has an underlying cause – in which case capability and potentially disability discrimination are the issues – or persistent short-term “sickies”. This may amount to misconduct or give the employer some other substantial reason to dismiss. Nowadays, one of the biggest headaches for management is employees who misuse Twitter and Facebook. Employees badmouthing their boss or complaining about how much they hate their job – for all the world to see – can damage a company’s reputation hugely. Blocking social networking sites, or restricting the use of social media during working hours, are often insufficient safeguards on their own. This can’t always be arranged satisfactorily. A properly formulated social media policy, containing clear user guidelines, will help to protect the company from misuse both inside and outside of work. If employees are rude to clients, this can be hugely damaging to your reputation. The damage occurs quickly, and word travels fast. This can cause a company to be blacklisted by prospective clients and to lose existing ones. Make sure to identify employees who have had disagreements with clients, or are short-tempered with colleagues and their managers. Tell them that their behaviour needs to change rapidly, otherwise they risk damaging their professional reputation. Consider disciplinary action for severe incidents or if the behaviour doesn’t improve. If you're having to deal with a disruptive employee, find out how the Forum can help. Advanced members get unlimited access to an employment law helpline and a practical employment law guide, backed up by legal expenses insurance to protect you from employment tribunals. Call us on 0845 130 1722 to find out more.

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