Sickness / Absence Policy


Notification of absence

You must notify your manager by telephone on the first day of absence at the earliest possible opportunity and not after 8.15 am, except where it is not possible for you to do so. Notification should be made personally by you if you are able. If you are unable to telephone your manager yourself, you may ask a friend or relative to ring your manager on your behalf. Text messages are not an acceptable means of communicating that you will be absent from work. If a staff member is due to start @ 7:45 then they should email in as soon as they are aware that they are not able to come in.

You are expected to give an indication of how long you expect to be absent from work for and to contact your manager if this changes.

If your period of unfitness for work extends to more than seven days you are required to notify your manager of your continued incapacity once a week thereafter, unless otherwise agreed.

Evidence of incapacity

In cases of illness up to seven calendar days, you must sign a self-certification absence form upon your return to work. If your illness has kept you from work for longer than seven days (whether or not they are working days) you should see your doctor and obtain a medical certificate, now called a Statement of Fitness for Work, and forward this to us without delay. You must supply us with Statements of Fitness for Work to cover the whole of your absence.

If you fail to follow any of these procedures, your absence may be deemed to be unauthorised. Unauthorised absence is categorised as a gross misconduct offence in the disciplinary rules.

Payments

Unless otherwise stated in your statement of main terms and conditions, any payment during sickness absence over and above Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) will be solely at our discretion. You will be paid SSP if you are absent because of sickness or injury provided you meet the eligibility criteria. This is treated like wages and is subject to normal deductions.

“Qualifying days” are the only days for which you are entitled to SSP. The first three days of absence are “waiting days” for which SSP is not payable. Where a second or subsequent period of incapacity occurs within 56 days of a previous period of incapacity, waiting days are not usually served again.

Any days of contractual sickness/injury payments which qualify for SSP will be offset against SSP on a day-to-day basis. Deductions may be made for any other state benefits received if you are excluded or transferred from SSP.

Where the circumstances of your illness or injury are such that you receive compensation or damages from a third party regarding the incapacity, you are required to include all monies paid by us to you as a loss of wages claim. Any payments which we may have made to you because of the absence (including SSP) will be repayable by you up to an amount not exceeding either the amount of the compensation or damages received by you or any amount paid by us to you.

Return to work

You should notify your manager as soon as you know on which day you will be returning to work, if this differs from a date of return previously notified.

If you have been suffering from an infectious or contagious disease or illness you must not report for work without a certificate form your own doctor confirming that it is in order for you to return to work. In the case of gastroenteritis or other similar bug, you must not attend work until a clear 48 hours have passed since you stopped suffering the symptoms of the bug.

General

We expect a good standard of attendance from all of our employees. If your attendance record falls below acceptable levels or you have been absent from work due to a longer term health issue, action may be taken in accordance with the Performance & Capability Policy.

Receipt of a Statement of Fitness for Work or sickness self-certification absence form may not always be regarded by us as sufficient justification for accepting your absence.

If you are found to have taken sick leave when you were not genuinely ill, this will result in disciplinary action being taken which may include your dismissal.

Whilst off work on sick leave, you are not permitted (without our written consent) to undertake any other paid or voluntary work. Breach of this rule will lead to disciplinary action being taken against you.

If we consider it necessary, we may ask your permission to contact your doctor for a report into your condition or for you to be independently medically examined regarding your illness. We cannot compel you to give consent to us obtaining a medical report but if you withhold your consent we may reluctantly have to take decisions regarding your employment with us without the benefit of expert medical opinion.

If you report for work and we have a reasonable belief that you may not be fit for work or that your attendance at work may put your health and safety, or the health and safety of others, at risk, you may be placed on precautionary suspension with full pay, pending the outcome of medical investigations into your fitness for work. If you refuse to comply with requests for medical reports, the period of suspension may be unpaid.