Sickness And Absence Policy
This document sets out clearly how an employer will deal with staff sick leave and other absences. A proper Sickness and Absence Policy will help demonstrate to employees that the employer takes sickness and absence seriously and will treat it fairly and consistently.
Employers should be aware of the following temporary coronavirus-related changes to their normal sickness and absence policies:
1. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, workers have the right to take unpaid statutory emergency volunteering leave (EVL) in order to volunteer in relevant health and social care authorities. EVL can be taken in blocks of two, three or four weeks and only one period of EVL can be taken in any one 16-week volunteering period. The entitlement to EVL is not referenced in this policy, but employers should be aware of it.
2. Employees are entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP) if they:
· Self-isolate in order to "prevent infection or contamination with coronavirus disease in accordance with guidance published by Public Health England, NHS National Services Scotland or Public Health Wales"; and
· are unable to work because they are self-isolating.
SSP should be paid from the first day of sickness (rather than after three waiting days) where:
· the employee's period of incapacity for work is related to coronavirus; and
· the first day of incapacity for work in that period is on or after 13 March 2020.
3. Employers should not ask for a fit note for sickness absence of more than seven calendar days' absence but can ask an employee in self-isolation for an isolation note from NHS 111 or, if they are "shielding", for a letter from the NHS advising the employee to do this.
This document contains a section on the monitoring of employee sickness and has been reviewed for compatibility with the GDPR. Reference is made to the Company's Data Protection Policy and all personal data (and sensitive personal data, which is particularly relevant where health matters are concerned) should be handled in accordance with such a policy.
A Sickness and Absence Policy will often help to increase or safeguard productivity and staff morale, as staff know that they will be supported when they are absent through illness, and that other employees will not be allowed to abuse the policy by taking a sick day when they are not actually ill. This Sickness Policy includes requirements on self-certification and return to work interviews. Self-certificates and Return to Work forms are available from the list of related documents. For a more detailed policy covering all aspects of sickness absence management, see the separate Sickness Absence Policy.
This document makes provision for the Company to monitor and record both the amount of absences and the reasons for them. Not only does this help with planning future cover for staff absence and with differentiating between different types of absence appropriately, it will deter abuse of the system as employees know that they must account for their absence.
This policy includes the following sections:
2. Notification of sickness
3. Certification of sickness
4. Long-term and persistent absence
5. Sickness which occurs while the employee is on holiday
6. Return to Work Interviews
7. Statutory Sick Pay
8. Company Sick Pay
9. Elective and/or cosmetic surgery
10. Jury service
11. Public duties
12. Emergency, Maternity, Paternity, Parental and Adoption Leave
13. Trade Union
15. Work arrangements when absent
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