Managing Sickness Absence and Attendance Policy

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					              Managing Sickness Absence and Attendance Policy

Date Implemented:         May 2007
Date Reviewed:
Date to be reviewed:      May 2008
Ownership:                Jacqueline Sylvia
Department:               All Lorica Departments

1. Introduction
The Lorica Trust values the contribution of its employees in the delivery of quality services to members of the
community. While recognising that employees may be prevented from attending work through ill health,
Lorica has a duty to maintain service delivery, minimise disruption and to ensure that unreasonable additional
strain is not placed upon other employees through coping with additional workloads due to sickness absence.

2. Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to secure a fair and consistent approach wherever reasonably practicable to the
management of sickness absence throughout the Lorica Trust, ensuring that the following aims are met
wherever possible:

         •   the promotion of employees’ health, safety and welfare;
         •   the efficient use of resources;
         •   the identification of changes necessary in working practices or environment;
         •   the compliance of the Trust with relevant employment legislation e.g. Disability Discrimination

3. Scope
The Managing Sickness Absence and Attendance Policy applies to all permanent employees of the Lorica
Trust under a contract of employment. Employees under a fixed term contract of six months or more will be
subject to this policy and procedure. Long term locum staff that are employed by the Trust will be subject to
the terms of this policy and procedure.

4. General Principles
The Lorica Trust will ensure as far as reasonably practicable that it adopts an objective and consistent
approach to managing attendance and sickness absence. This is to ensure staff effectiveness and efficiency
while providing support and assistance to staff that experience ill health. In so doing, all employees will be
treated as individuals and their needs and personal circumstances will be taken into account.

5. Roles & Responsibilities

Managers are responsible for reporting absences in their team’s monthly report to the Administrator.
Managers should ensure staff complete an Absence Statement for any period of illness, and this should be
forwarded to the Administrator.

Employees are expected, wherever reasonably practicable, to:
      • attend work unless unfit to do so
      • report sickness absence promptly
      • communicate effectively with their manager regarding the sickness absence.

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         •   complete or submit the appropriate certifications to cover absence
         •   maintain availability for contact with their line manager during periods of sickness absence.
         •   inform their line manager if they believe their job is contributing to ill health.

6. Reporting Procedure
Managers should ensure that employees are made aware of the sickness absence notification procedure (see
Managing Sickness Absence Procedure Section 2).

Notification of absence due to sickness should be reported to the appropriate Manager as soon as reasonably
practicable, for those on shifts, no later than one hour before their designated shift start time so alternate
cover can be found if necessary.

In order for service delivery to be maintained it is essential for line managers to know when an employee is
unable to work due to illness. Failure to inform the line manager of an absence may lead to the absence being
viewed as unauthorised. This could lead to a loss of pay and possibly disciplinary action.

7. Recording Procedure
The Trust has established procedures for recording absence and general monitoring of sickness absence. All
absence from work due to short or long term sickness must be recorded. Employees should complete an
Absence Statement Form with their line manager for all absences up to 7 days. Thereafter a doctor’s
certificate will be required. (see Managing Sickness Absence Procedure Section 3). Absences such as maternity leave,
carers leave or absence agreed under the special leave policy should not be recorded as sickness absence.

Each employee has the right to confidentiality regarding illness information; those responsible for maintaining
sickness records will ensure as far as reasonably practicable that absence records are held in a secure place.

8. Attendance Levels
Where a manager has a legitimate concern regarding an employee’s attendance level, this can be raised with
the employee at any time.

9. Long Term Sickness
There are a number of factors that should be considered when a staff member is on long term sickness
absence. The HR Administrator will liaise directly with the Manager and line managers whose employees are
off on long term sickness.

Where a continuous period of sickness absence suggests that the employee is incapable of discharging
efficiently the duties of their employment due to ill health or absences, team managers should discuss the
situation with their Manager.

10. Review Process
Continuous long term absences should be monitored on a regular basis and the employee should be informed
of their status in relation to statutory sick pay wherever relevant. Once the employee has been collectively
absent for 20 days in any financial year they will become eligible for statutory sick pay.

11. Return to Work Interviews
Irrespective of the length of absence, a return to work interview should be conducted either on the
employee’s first day back at work or as soon as possible thereafter. The interview should be aimed at
confirming the cause of the absence, understanding the factors that contribute to the welfare of the employee
and establishing whether any support can prevent the type of absence from impacting upon the employee’s
continuity of attendance.

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12. Work Environment & Risk Assessment
While the Trust and its managers cannot control an external environment which results in the absence of an
employee, the Trust will aim to ensure as far as reasonably practicable that the work environment is safe and
conducive to the avoidance of accidents or stress at work which may otherwise result in staff absence.
To deliver this responsibility, the Trust’s Health & Safety officer will undertake risk assessments wherever
possible in accordance with the requirements of the Trust’s Health and Safety at work policy.

13. Review
This policy will be reviewed periodically, in the light of experience, staff comments or as a result of changes in
legislation. Amendments may therefore be made from time to time which will be notified to all employees.

Please see the Managing Sickness Procedure for further detail.

                        This document can be translated
                  and/or made available in large print on request

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