One of our clients has a greenkeeper problem: he’s off sick far more than they’d like.
So far in this calendar year, he’s had 23 days off sick; all of them odd – a day or two here.
Which is more than everyone else in the club combined.
They haven’t been happy about the situation for a while but became even more incensed when the rumours started spreading that he was working somewhere else on his “sick” days.
The suspicion turned to conviction quite quickly, and they began telling us that they KNEW he was working somewhere else, and that his car had been “seen” outside another company.
It all seemed slightly fishy to us – the company in question isn’t on a main thoroughfare, so how could he have been “seen” enough times to be sure that that’s what he was doing.
Finally, they admitted that they’d hired the local private investigator to follow him!
Just in case there’s ANY doubt – you are not allowed to do this. It’s called “speculative investigation”.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do some “investigation” – that’s actually a word that’s been approved at an employment tribunal as something you’re allowed to do to protect your business or assets.
But following them all day because you suspect them to be working on sick leave isn’t a reasonable response, and any evidence found by the PI would be inadmissible in a disciplinary or court.
Instead – if a similar situation occurs for you – my advice would be to simply call the other company and ask if they are working there; something along the lines of “Can I speak to Bob Yankee, who works in your sales department?”.
Plus, it’ll save you the private investigator fees!