Table of contents
Keeping in touch
Return to work meetings
Attendance review meeting
Managing short term absence
Managing long term absence
Dismissal on ground and capability
Occupational sick pay allowance
Approval and review
It is expected that from time to time employees are ill or injured and cannot attend work. We acknowledge this; however we still require procedures to manage absence effectively as well as standards of attendance which we ask employees to meet, wherever possible. RoS uses the Bradford Factor to analyse absence and to inform what action requires to be taken. The Bradford Factor is especially useful for identifying problematic short term absence. Different procedures apply to managing Short Term and Long Term absences, however an individual’s absence record rarely falls neatly into these categories and consequently a combination of both approaches will be used depending on the pattern of absences.
The Bradford Factor
The Bradford Factor is a formula which is applied to an employee’s attendance record over the period of a year, and it multiplies the number of occasions of absence, by the number of occasions of absence, by the total number of working days lost. For example, if an individual had been absent on 4 occasions and lost 12 working days in the previous 12 months then their Bradford Factor score would be 192 (4x4x12). RoS have decided to use a Bradford Factor Score of 90 over a rolling 12 month period as the trigger for management intervention.
Every employee must:
- accept that they have a responsibility to attend work on a regular basis;
- follow procedures for reporting absence;
- maintain regular contact with their manager during periods of absence;
- attend return to work meetings with their manager and discuss their absence;
- discuss their attendance record at an Attendance Review Meeting (ARM) with their manager if the frequency or length of sickness absence causes concern and/or the Bradford trigger point of 90 has been breached.
Every manager must:
- take appropriate action to assist and support the employee during sickness absence and on their return to work;
- ensure that they make the employee aware of all the support available such as HELP Employee Assistance and HR;
- ensure that interventions have been explored, discussed with the employee, and taken forward as appropriate;
- conduct return to work meetings with their employees within 48 hours of their return to work and discuss their absence;
- make arrangements with another manager to conduct return to work meetings when they are absent from work;
- discuss their employee’s attendance record at an Attendance Review Meeting (ARM) if the frequency or length of sickness absence has caused concern or if the Bradford trigger of 90 has been breached
- treat every employee fairly and respectfully;
- treat information regarding employee absence as confidential;
- give due consideration to the advice from the OHS or any information relating to a disability
- seek advice and guidance from HR, as necessary.
- Breaches of confidentiality by any employee, including your manager, may be treated as a disciplinary matter;
- Unauthorised absence may, following investigation, be dealt with using the disciplinary process;
- Annual leave should not be taken instead of sickness absence;
- Where an employee requests to take a period of annual leave during a period of sick absence - sick absence and annual leave will run concurrently. This means that a Fit Note is still required to cover this period and it is taken into account for both sick pay and sickness absence purposes
- When absent from work due to sickness absence, you should not undertake any activity which could impair your recovery, for example participation in sports or other external activities, undertake any other work whether paid or voluntary, or participate in any activity which might aggravate your condition or illness. You should always seek medical advice in advance. If you are found to have participated in an activity which did impair your recovery and this was contrary to medical advice or if medical advice had not been sought in advance, we may withdraw the payment of Occupational Sick Pay (OSP), or take other appropriate action which could include disciplinary action;
On the first day of sickness absence employees are required to contact their manager by 9.30am to report that they will be absent that day. If there has been no contact from the employee by 12 noon, their manager should contact the employee by telephone. If the manager is unable to contact the employee on the first day then they must try to contact them the following day. If a manager does not have the employee’s telephone number this can be obtained from HR in confidence. If no contact is made on the second day then the manager should contact an HR Adviser.
When phoning in, employees should explain the nature of their illness, its likely duration and whether or not they have contacted a doctor. Managers are primarily concerned with how the employee is feeling, however, they also need to consider any business activities that need to be dealt with. Therefore, the manager does need to ask about work, for example if the employee has anything urgent that needs to be re-assigned or a meeting that has to be rearranged on the employee’s behalf.
Employees must make every effort to make the call personally and only in exceptional circumstances should someone else contact the employee’s manager on the employee’s behalf. On the rare occasions when an employee is too ill to phone in person, the person phoning on the employee’s behalf should be able to provide the required information.
If a manager and employee have not had the opportunity to speak to each other personally, the manager should make contact with the employee as soon as possible. If the manager is not available due to other work or leave commitments alternative reporting arrangements with another manager should have already been put in place. The manager’s voice mail should say which manager to contact and leave the contact name and extension on the voice mail.
A message should not normally be left with a colleague, even if that colleague is a family member, but there may be instances when this is the only way the absence can be reported. On these occasions, as above, arrangements should be made for the manager to make a return call. The information provided by the employee in relation to the nature of their illness should remain confidential to the line management chain unless the employee gives their express permission for the information to be shared if necessary.
Keeping in touch
It is important that contact between the manager and the employee is maintained during any period of absence. If sickness absence is likely to last for two or three days it’s not necessary to contact the manager again following the first telephone call. (The manager needs to make this clear in the first phone call.) However, with any absence that lasts for 4 days or longer, the employee should again personally telephone their manager on the 4th day and advise them of, for example:
- whether or not a doctor’s appointment has been made;
- whether it’s likely that the absence will extend beyond the 7 calendar day self certification period;
- Whether it’s likely that a medical certificate will be submitted.
At this point if the absence is likely to extend beyond 7 calendar days the employee and manager should agree a reasonable contact arrangement. This will vary from case to case and could be every few days, once a week or once a month depending on the circumstances.
Managers should maintain regular contact with absent employees by telephone and regular face to face review meetings at the workplace, employee’s home or other agreed location (e.g. a coffee shop). In some circumstances contact could be maintained via email or some other agreed method; however, this would be by exception.
Managers should not visit an employee’s home without prior agreement unless no contact has been made and there is concern for the employee’s well-being.
If an absence lasts for up to and including 7 calendar days, then an employee should self certificate their absence. However, if the employee has visited a doctor within the 7 day period and has been issued with a Statement of Fitness for Work “Fit Note” then this should be sent to their manager in the first instance. From the 8th calendar day onwards a Statement of Fitness for Work or “Fit Note” is required. When submitting the “Fit Note” every effort should be made to ensure that all calendar days are covered, without any gaps. Days not appropriately certificated by a medical professional will be considered to be unauthorised absence and may result in Occupational Sick Pay (OSP) being withheld. Upon return to work, employees will be asked to complete a self certificate form for any days in the first 7 days of absence not covered by the “Fit Note”.
The fit note
The Statement of Fitness for Work, or “Fit note” has replaced the medical certificate.
The purpose of the “Fit note” is to focus on what an employee may be able to do at work rather than what they cannot do. Doctors will be able to advise one of two options:
a) Not fit for work - this means that the doctor's assessment of the employee is that they have a health condition that prevents them from working for the stated period of time.
b) May be fit for work taking account of the following advice - this means the doctor's assessment of the employee is that their condition does not necessarily stop them from returning to work. For example, they could return to work but may not be able to complete all of their normal duties, or they could benefit from amended working hours or workplace adaptations. On the statement the Doctor will state the period of time their advice is for i.e. how long, in their view, reduced hours/duties and/ or workplace adaptations need to be in place.
The Fit note is intended as a guide for the employer. It is for RoS to determine whether the advice can be accommodated. However, managers must be alert to their responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 and consideration should be given as to whether any proposed adaptations would fall under a "reasonable adjustment" for disabled employees.
Procedures for handling “Fit Notes”
When an employee is given a “fit note” advising they may be fit for work they should write clearly on the back of it their name and employee reference number and send it in to their manager as soon as possible.
Their manager may feel they are able to agree a request for adaptations etc. locally without the requirement for HR to be involved. However where this is not the case, HR will consider the advice from the GP and discuss with the employee and the manager. The employee may be able to provide more information on the context of the advice.
When agreeing the return to work plan it should always be clear as to the length of time any amended duties or support should remain in place. In most cases these will be temporary measures; however in more complex cases it may also be necessary to seek further advice by referring the employee to Occupational Health Service.
Whilst every effort will be made to support an employee's return to work it may not always be possible to accommodate the GP's advice /proposals and the reasons for this should be discussed with the employee. In these circumstances for pay purposes the current 'may be fit for work' Statement should be used as if the Doctor had advised 'not fit for work'. Employees do not need to return to their doctor for a new statement to confirm this.
HR provides professional advice, guidance, and support to managers and employees on a range of issues that include health and safety, Occupational Health and Welfare Services, and our Employee Assistance Provider – HELP.
HELP Employee Assistance Programme (EAP)
Help Employee Assistance provides all employees with information, resources and options to address a wide range of issues both at home and at work. If you would like to discuss any issue please call them in complete confidence 24 hours a day,
365 days a year. The contact number is 0800 032 9849. They also have a website with information on a wide variety of subjects, which can be accessed at www.sg.helpeap.com.
Occupational Health Services (OHS)
RoS’s Occupational Health provider is contracted by RoS to provide expert occupational health advice. RoS can seek medical advice on matters relating to an employee’s health at any time, and up to date expert medical advice will always be sought before RoS makes a decision about how best to go forward.
Employees can seek the advice and support of their Trade Union at any stage.
Absence Information will be provided to Senior Managers on a monthly basis, with quarterly and annual information being submitted to the Executive Management Team (EMT).
Return to work meetings
Return to work meetings are one of the most effective approaches for managing absence. Ideally, managers should meet with the employee on their first day back from sick leave; however, there may be occasions when this is not possible and the meeting has to be scheduled for the second day.
One of the most important aspects of the meeting is to welcome the employee back to work. Managers should prepare for the meeting by reviewing the employee’s attendance record, a report can be obtained from HR detailing absences to assist with this; managers can also consider if there are any trends, patterns or other issues which are causing concern and require to be discussed with the employee.
A return to work meeting enables the manager to:
- welcome the employee back and find out how they are feeling;
- ask the employee if there is anything they wish to discuss, or if there is any way that RoS can offer further support;
- discuss the nature of the absence(s), highlighting any specific concerns and encouraging the employee to talk about any difficulties they are experiencing;
- offer an update on what has been happening in the workplace;
- ensure appropriate documentation is completed;
- make sure records are correct;
Return to work meeting should always be constructive and supportive, welcoming the employee back to work. There should be no suggestion that the absence has been anything other than genuine, unless there is clear and specific evidence to the contrary.
Attendance review meeting
Many, if not most, absences will probably require no further action by the manager other than a return to work discussion. However, where a Bradford Factor of 90 has been reached or exceeded, the employee will be invited to attend a formal attendance review meeting.
The purpose of the attendance review meeting is so that the manager can:
- discuss the patterns, trends or concerns they have regarding the employee’s attendance over the past 12 month period, or longer timeframe, where appropriate;
- encourage the employee to talk about any issues or problems they are experiencing which could affect their ability to attend in the future;
- discuss with the employee what advice, guidance they have already sought (e.g. their own GP);
- discuss the various professional interventions available within RoS;
- consider an OHS referral to ascertain if there is any underlying medical condition. This will help determine whether absences are managed by either the capability or disciplinary processes;
- remind the employee of the need for regular attendance
- give consideration to whether it is appropriate to invoke the capability or disciplinary procedures.
The manager will write to invite the employee to attend this meeting, it will detail relevant absences. The letter will clearly state the purpose of the meeting, and advise the employee that they have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Trade Union representative. The manager will confirm the outcome of the meeting and provide their reasons and justification for taking the agreed actions in writing to the employee. A copy of the letter will be kept in their HR file.
Managing short term absence
Short term absence is defined as irregular absence which lasts for up to 20 working days (4 weeks) at a time. Where there is evidence of persistent short term absence, employees will be offered support to improve their level of attendance. In all cases where employees have triggered the Bradford Factor score of 90, within a 12 month rolling period they will be required to meet with their manager at an ARM to discuss, for example:
- their attendance record;
- how RoS can help;
- what other services may be beneficial e.g. Occupational Health Service (OHS), HELP Employee Assistance Programme (EAP);
- what attendance improvement is required;
- the timeframe the improvement may be required within;
- what further action is possible if the required improvement is not achieved.
Each case will be dealt with on its own merits.
In cases where it has been confirmed by OHS that the absence is attributable to an underlying medical condition this will normally be managed through the capability process as outlined below. Where there is no underlying cause the disciplinary process will normally be followed.
Where an employee has frequent short term periods of absence which have been confirmed, by OHS, are not as a result of an ongoing or underlying medical condition, the absence will be managed using the disciplinary process.
This means that following the attendance review meeting, a decision will be taken on whether or not it is appropriate to take disciplinary action in line with the RoS disciplinary process. If appropriate, support mechanisms available will be fully explored and utilised in order to manage and improve attendance.
Our disciplinary process is designed to help managers engage with staff, setting standards and supporting our employees to achieve clearly defined improvement.
However, where the necessary improvement is not achieved, disciplinary action up to and including dismissal may be appropriate. Full details on the RoS Disciplinary Procedure is available in the Staff Handbook.
Where an employee has frequent short term periods of absence or periods of long term absence which are confirmed, by OHS, to be as a result of an underlying or ongoing medical condition, absence will be managed using the capability process.
This means that the employee is unable to attend work as regularly as required due to an underlying or ongoing medical condition.
We will offer every support possible to help the employee improve their attendance so that an acceptable level of attendance is reached and maintained. In these cases, managers are required to assess each case on its individual merits, taking into consideration all of the expert professional advice available, to inform their decision making. If the decision is taken that the employee’s attendance needs to be closely monitored the following process will be initiated:
If an employee is placed on Stage 1, they enter a 12 month review period during which time their attendance will be closely monitored. Stage 1 action should be dated from the first working day following the absence. Managers will engage with the employee on a regular basis, particularly following attendance at the OHS or when there is participation with the Employee Assistance Programme.
During this period the employee will be offered assistance to try to deal positively with their health condition, and to achieve an acceptable level of attendance. If there are no further absences or their attendance has improved to an acceptable level then they will be removed from Stage 1 at the end of the 12 month period.
If, however, there are further periods of absence during the 12 month review period this will automatically trigger another attendance review meeting, during which consideration will be given to placing the employee on Stage 2. The employee has the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Trade Union representative at these meetings. The manager will confirm the outcome of the meeting and any agreed actions in writing to the employee, and a copy of the letter will be kept in their HR file.
If an employee is placed on Stage 2, they enter a 12 month review period during which time their attendance will be closely monitored, as for Stage 1. Stage 2 action should be dated from the first working day following the absence. If there are no further absences or their attendance has improved to an acceptable level then they will be removed from Stage 2 at the end of the 12 month period.
However, if there are further periods of absence and attendance becomes unacceptable within a 12 month period from the date of removal from Stage 2, then the employee may be placed back onto Stage 2 of the process.
If, however, there are further periods of absence during the 12 month review period this will automatically trigger attendance review meetings, during which consideration will be given to placing the employee on a Capability Trial Period. The employee has the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Trade Union representative at these meetings. The manager will confirm the outcome of the meeting and any agreed actions in writing to the employee, and a copy of the letter will be kept in their HR file.
Capability Trial Period
The employee will enter a trial period (usually 6 months) effective date from the first working day following the absence , during which time they are required to demonstrate a significant improvement in their attendance to achieve an acceptable level of attendance.
Management will engage with the employee on a regular basis, particularly following attendance at OHS or when there is participation with the Employee Assistance Programme. During this period the employee will be offered assistance available to try to deal positively with their health condition, and to achieve an acceptable level of attendance.
If, however, there are further periods of absence during the trial period this will automatically trigger attendance review meetings where consideration will be given to dismissing the employee. The employee has the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or a Trade Union representative at these meetings. The manager will confirm the outcome of the meeting and any agreed actions in writing to the employee, and a copy of the letter will be kept in their HR file. If the manager considers the employee should be dismissed they will be invited to a Formal Review Meeting (hearing) with a senior manager and HR. See section 13.11.
If by the end of the Capability Trial Period the employee has achieved and maintained the standard of attendance required they will be removed from the capability process. However, if there are further periods of absence and attendance becomes unacceptable within a 12 month period from the date of removal from the Capability Trial Period, then the employee may be placed back onto the Capability Trial stage of the process.
At every stage of the capability process or disciplinary process the employee has the right to appeal the decision. The appeal must be in writing and submitted within 10 working days of the date of the decision to the appropriate appeal officer, who will be identified on the decision letter.
The appeal must detail the reason for appeal i.e. why the decision was unfair or why the level of action taken was too severe. If the employee wishes to present additional new evidence to support their case, then this must be provided to the appeal officer at least 2 working days in advance of the appeal hearing. To ensure impartiality the appeal will be held by an appropriate independent manager and an independent HR adviser wherever possible.
Managing long term absence
Long term sickness absence is defined as a single spell of absence of four continuous weeks or longer. With all long term sickness absence cases, it is our aim to help the employee return to work as soon as possible. This may require a joined up approach from the manager, HR, OHS, the employee’s GP, Employee Assistance Programme and any other appropriate organisation or Medical Professional.
The possible outcomes of long term sickness absence are:
- a declaration from the employee’s GP or OHS that the employee will be fit to return to work on a specified date;
- a return to work on a different basis, for example part-time. Changes can be on a temporary or permanent basis; see 6.1 Fit Notes
- eligibility for ill health retirement under the provisions of the Pension Scheme;
- termination of the contract of employment on the grounds of ill health or capability.
If the employee returns to work consideration will be given to placing the employee on the capability process outlined in Section 12. If they are not placed on the capability process on their return from long term sick leave employees should be aware that the impact of their long term absence will be included in any future breaches of the Bradford Factor trigger.
When dealing with employees with long term sick absence consideration has to be balanced between the needs of the employee and the needs of RoS.
Contact whilst on sick absence
It is vital that contact is maintained between employee and manager throughout a period of sick absence. Employees on long term absence can feel isolated and it is important that every support is offered to help them get back to work as soon as possible. Regular contact is vital to:
- ensure that any support needs can be identified;
- identify when a return to work can be expected;
- convey the value that RoS places on the employee, encouraging a positive attitude to returning to work;
- give time to discuss and organise any necessary special arrangements to facilitate a return to work;
- give an opportunity to keep the individual in touch with developments at work in RoS in general;
- advise the employee of significant issues affecting them (e.g. their entitlement to sick pay);
- provide the employee with the opportunity to raise any issues or concerns they may have.
Ongoing Communication and Support
Contact between the manager and employee should be by agreement, and this may be weekly, fortnightly or in some cases monthly. This contact is so that the employee can offer a ‘progress report’ and indicate when and if a return to work is expected.
The manager should keep a record of all contacts made with the employee. If the employee is well enough, the manager should endeavour to meet face to face with the employee for a progress meeting.
Throughout a period of sick absence an employee should be able to depend on support and regular contact from their manager. Maintaining regular contact throughout a period of absence will make the return to work transition easier for both employee and manager. In exceptional circumstances where the employee refuses contact with their manager, they should be offered an alternative person to maintain contact with, this could be another manager or HR. Employees are required to co-operate fully with this procedure.
Progress meetings should be undertaken by the direct line manager or managers, with the consent of the employee after 4 continuous weeks of sickness absence (an HR Adviser may also attend). These meetings may take place either in the office, the employees home or, if preferred, in a more neutral and informal setting (e.g. a coffee shop).
Meetings are very important as they provide an opportunity to ensure that the employee does not feel isolated and for management to progress the case. When a progress meeting in another location, is organised the employee should be given the option of having a Trade Union representative or work colleague present.
When the manager meets with the employee the manager should provide the employee with information to assist them while they are absent, including:
- information on the long term sickness absence process;
- advice on how the employee and their manager will maintain contact;
- information on referrals to the OHS;
- advice on entitlement to Occupational Sick Pay if necessary;
- information about all support services available including HR Advisers, DQG +(/3 Employee Assistance
- any other information that may assist their return to work.
Referral to OHS
The manager and HR will assess when to refer the employee to OHS; however, a referral should be made when the employee has been absent for 4 continuous weeks. OHS appointments will normally take place at the OHS provider’s accommodation, employees who require assistance in getting to and from their appointments should contact their manager for arrangements to be made. If it’s more appropriate for consultations to take place at the employee’s home then this can also be arranged.
If an employee is absent with a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety or stress it may be appropriate to make a much earlier referral to OHS and this should be discussed with the employee in the early days of contact. OHS may indicate that an early referral to the Employee Assistance Programme’s Return to Work Services is also beneficial.
Case Management / Case Conference
The manager should review all long term cases on a monthly basis with HR, to ensure that contact is being maintained with the employee and that the appropriate support mechanisms have been offered and are in place such as home visits/face to face meetings and occupational referrals are made, as appropriate, particularly after 4 continuous weeks of absence.
HR will carry out the role of ‘case manager’ for all long term absence cases, in order to ensure that the absence is being managed appropriately by the manager.
A case conference with the employee should also take place at an appropriate time, usually within the first 3 months of continuous absence. The following parties could be present at the case conference, if relevant:
- the employee (or a representative on their behalf)
- a work colleague or Trade Union representative to accompany the employee
- the employee’s manager
- OHS representative
- Employee Assistance Programme representative
The purpose of the case conference is to try to put in place an action plan to facilitate the employee’s return to work. If the decision is made that it would be detrimental to the employee’s health to attend the case conference in person, they should always be given the opportunity to have someone attend on their behalf and be provided with copies of the case conference notes and the action plan. Action plans should always have clearly identified dates for review meetings. The length of the review period will be determined according to individual circumstances but review meetings will normally take place at regular intervals of between one and three months.
The manager and HR must meet with the employee and their representative (if appropriate) to consider progress against the action plan. The meeting should be held at a location convenient to the employee, if necessary away from their normal place of work, and with consideration to the employee’s physical condition (for example, in a ground floor office). Meeting the employee in their home should only take place with the employee’s consent and only where it is not possible for the employee to attend the meeting at work.
The meeting will allow HR and the manager the opportunity to assess progress against the agreed action plan, and to discuss the possible future outcomes including continued sick absence, redeployment, return to work, medical retirement or dismissal.
If a return to work is not an option at this stage, the employee must be told that if he or she is not able to return to work within a reasonable timescale, or there is no suitable work available, they may be dismissed on the grounds of capability due to ill health. Dismissal is a last resort and any decision to dismiss will be taken by a senior manager in consultation with HR.
Depending on the circumstances, another action plan may be agreed and a further review period set. A summary of the discussion, copy of the revised action plan and review date will be shared with the employee (and their representative). During the review period, the manager and/or HR must keep in touch with the employee, monitoring progress and obtaining up-to-date medical advice from the OHS provider as appropriate.
Returning to Work following Long Term Absence
It is our aim to facilitate a return to work for all employees who are absent on a long term basis. One of the key considerations is whether or not a phased return to work would be beneficial to the employee in assisting their return. This allows the employee to:
- return to work on a part time basis, gradually building their hours back to their normal contractual hours;
- be re-introduced back into the workplace on an incremental basis;
- be provided with practical support in the early stages of returning to work (e.g. being coached by a buddy in relation to working practices and anything that has changed).
The manager, employee, HR, OHS and the employee’s GP should work together to design a phased return to work programme. It is important that the employee is fully involved in designing the programme and that progress is monitored and reviewed throughout.
Return to work programmes will most commonly be worked over a 4 to 8 week period, depending on the nature and length of the absence.
On return to work consideration will be given to placing the employee on the capability process outlined in Section 12.
Early Retirement on the Grounds of Ill Health
Advice will be obtained from the OHS provider on whether ill-health retirement should be considered and when it should be actioned. Ill-health retirement may be considered appropriate when an employee is considered to be “permanently incapacitated from work until normal pensionable age”. HR will action the medical retirement recommendation through the Medical Advisor. The Medical Advisor is appointed by The Cabinet Office and is the only person who can authorise
ill-health retirement for RoS employees. Employees have the right to appeal against the decision of the Medical Advisor to recommend or refuse ill-health retirement. If ill-health retirement is not recommended, the employee’s situation will be reviewed by HR and management. HR may wish to discuss the case in more detail with the OHS Provider to ascertain if there is a realistic prospect of a return to work and thereafter regular and effective service being provided.
Employees will be given every opportunity to discuss their circumstances and consult with the Employee Assistance Programme or their Trade Union representative, as appropriate.
Ill-Health Retirement Appeals Procedure
An employee has the right of appeal against recommendations made by the Medical Advisor. An appeal may be made against either a recommendation or refusal for ill health retirement. The appeal should be directed to the Medical Advisor via HR as advised at the time of recommendation or refusal.
If the Medical Advisor recommends ill-health retirement and the employee wishes to appeal this decision then every effort will be made to resolve any appeal before the effective date of dismissal (i.e. the date of expiry of the notice period). However, if the appeal process is not concluded at the expiry of the notice period, employment will be terminated and pay will cease. The appeal process will continue and if the appeal is subsequently upheld the employee may be reinstated in line with the recommendations of the Appeals Committee. If this is the case the employee will receive back-pay to cover the period from the expiry of the notice to the date of reinstatement. Alternatively a decision may be taken to consider dismissing the employee on the grounds of capability.
Formal Review Meeting (Hearing) at the end of the Review Period/s
If, at the end of the review period/s, the employee is still not able to return to work or provide regular and effective service and ill-health retirement or redeployment has not been recommended by OHS. The employee will be invited to a formal review meeting (hearing) with the senior manager and HR.
Given the seriousness of the situation, the senior manager must consider the employee’s attendance history and all other relevant issues such as the up-to-date advice from the OHS provider before reaching a decision.
Once full consideration of the employee’s circumstances have taken place and all other options have been explored, the senior manager may decide that it is appropriate to either;
1) arrange a further review period or
2) to dismiss the employee on the grounds of capability due to ill-health.
If a decision is made to arrange a further review period and the employee is still not able to return to work at the end of this review period (or returns to work but is unable to provide regular and effective service) then the employee will be invited to another formal review meeting (hearing) where the Senior Manager and HR will give consideration to dismissing the employee on the grounds of capability due to ill health.
Dismissal on the grounds of capability
If it is deemed appropriate to dismiss the employee on the grounds of capability for ill-health, the employee will be advised in writing, confirming the date their employment will end, and their right to appeal against this decision if they feel it is unfair in the circumstances.
Eligibility for Compensation
Employees who are dismissed on the grounds of capability due to ill-health absence may be eligible for compensation under the Rules of the Principal Civil Service Pension Scheme (PCSPS). Details can be obtained from HR.
Occupational sick pay allowance
Employees, absent as a result of sickness, may be entitled to Occupational Sick Pay (OSP) at full pay for no more than 6 months (182 days) followed by 6 months (183 days) on half pay, calculated over a 12 month period, for example:
- Mr X starts a period of sickness absence on 1 December 2008 and has had an earlier 2 month absence in June and July 2008. For his current absence, the
12 month period commences on 1 December 2007 meaning that all periods of absence from 1 December 2007 are taken into account for OSP calculation, resulting in 61 days OSP at full pay already exhausted. If Mr X remains on sickness absence, therefore, he would go onto half pay from 1 April 2009.
It should be noted, however, that the 12 month period is subject to an overriding maximum of 365 days OSP allowance in any 4 year period. After exhausting the maximum 365 days OSP any further absences will be at no pay, for example:
- Mrs Y starts a period of sickness absence on 1 December 2008 and has had a previous absence of 11 months in 2006 when she was paid OSP of 6 months at full pay and 5 months at half pay. The 4 year period used for the calculation commenced on 1 December 2004 therefore Mrs Y is entitled to OSP at full pay for one month only and she would then go onto no pay at 1 January 2009. She would then remain on no pay until she returned to work. Any Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) due will be included with OSP when OSP is paid at the full rate.
Sick Pay at Pension Rate (SPPR)
Sick pay at pension rate can be considered when the normal entitlement to sick pay is exhausted. The case will be referred to OHS well before entitlement to sick pay is exhausted so that they can consider whether the eligibility requirements for sick pay at pension rate have been met.
Such cases would be reviewed on a monthly basis to ensure that sick pay at pension rate does not go on indefinitely.
Approval and review
This policy will be reviewed and approved by the Policy and Practice Group annually, unless earlier review is appropriate.
|Author||HROD Team – ER|
|Reviewed||Head of People and Change|
|Approval||PPG||Approval date||Existing policy|
|Policy version||Version 1.0|
|Review responsibility||Policy and Practice Group||Review date||April 2022|
|Email to email@example.com|