IANAL but the company I work for is petrified of not doing things by the book, they wouldn't be issuing warnings etc without being absolutely sure that it would stand up in court. Every time Bradford is breached there is an investigation meeting, the "offender" is allowed to have representation if required. Then this is passed on to a hearing again the offender is allowed representation. EVERYTHING is minuted, and signed and filed, blah blah, etc. We follow a strict Verbal>Written>final Written>dismissal pattern. And if any of the warnings expire, then the next "breach" would go back to a verbal warning. And as I said it is worded so that you are not disciplined for being sick, rather "breaching the companies acceptable level of absence" Look at it from the companies point of view, you are essentially saying that an unreliable employee taking lots of time off work which is disruptive to the company isn't allowed to be dismissed. Why should any company have to put up with that ?