Staff Sickness Policy 

 

We recognise that employees may be absent from the organisation for a variety of reasons. To ensure that all staff are treated in a consistent and equitable manner, this document provides the framework for dealing with such circumstances. Absence: whether due to illness or any other circumstances is defined (for the purpose of this document) as the non-attendance of workers when they are contracted to attend. 

 

Procedure:

○ Any sickness/absence should be reported to the Manager by 7.00am, by telephoning her mobile (all staff should take a note of this) giving a clear indication of the nature of the illness/absence and a likely return date. (It is the responsibility of the staff member to ensure their absence has been received by the Manager- so a left message or text is not acceptable) 

○ The Manager is required to make every effort to ensure cover for the settings. If the Manager is too ill to arrange their own cover, the Deputy will arrange cover instead. Any sickness absence of less than seven days including non working days(short term sickness/absence) requires an employee to complete a 'Self-Certificate' available from any Doctor's Surgery or downloadable from www.direct.gov.uk. ‘Self-Certificates’ are enforced at the Manager’s discretion and is dependent on an employee’s previous record of short term sickness/absence) 

○ Sickness absence which exceeds seven days (long term sickness/absence) requires an employee to obtain a 'Fit Note' from their GP and attend a 'Return to Work Meeting' with the Manager (The Manager‘s Return to Work Meeting’). A back to work meeting will take place after each period of long term sickness/absence and before the employee can return to work. The back to work meeting will be held within an agreed timeframe once the employee indicates their request to return to work. The Manager must offer a return to work meeting to the employee within two working days of their request to return to work. 

○ The fit note and back to work meeting is to establish the reason for and cause of the absence, to consider whether there is anything the Manager or organisation can do to help (make reasonable adjustments) and to confirm that the employee is fit to return to work. If the employee is deemed unfit for work then they must return to their GP and the cycle of absence, fit note and back to work meeting will be repeated until the employee is able to return to work or a formal process will be triggered and if appropriate their employment may be terminated. This formal process will also be triggered if an employee’s explanation for absence is not forthcoming, considered to be unsatisfactory or if absence is not reported following the procedure 

○ If long term sickness /absence prevents an employee returning to work or is recurrent or if frequent illness or absence exceeds recommended short term illness/absence within an agreed timeframe a more formal process will be triggered (agreed absence and timeframes can be agreed and extended on the advice of an employee’s GP). - A fit note can be obtained from a GP or hospital (the employee may be charged for the fit note if requested or completed before the 7th day of absence) 

○ At our settings, we adhere to Government recommendations 

○ If an employee is sick twice for 4-7days in a relatively short period (within a 3 month period) or sick for 4 or more short periods in a 12 month period, a formal process will be triggered. 

○ The Manager can contact HMRC to arrange for an employee to be medically examined (this can be actioned once the employee returns to work). The HMRC report will give an opinion of the employee’s fitness to work, state if there are medical grounds/reasons for an employee to have frequent or long term absence and will help employers to decide if the employee is capable or incapable to work (the employer must obtain the employee’s consent for a medical exam). However, if the employer deems the medical exam is necessary and the employee withholds consent, then this will trigger a formal process. Additionally, a sick employee will have their employment terminated 

○ If reasonable adjustments to their role, duties or hours cannot facilitate their return to work. 

○ If returning to work will not improve or worsen their health.

CREATED: AUGUST 2019   REVIEWED: AUGUST 2021  NEXT REVIEW: AUGUST 2022