Sickness absence and ill health policy and procedure

We value the contribution of its staff in the delivery of quality services to its communities. We are committed to maintaining the health, safety and welfare of its employees and recognises the importance of encouraging good attendance in achieving both quality services and employee welfare.

Whilst recognising that staff may be prevented from attending work through ill health, we have a duty to maintain service delivery and believes that it is the responsibility of managers, employees and employee representatives to work together to promote a healthy workforce and the effective and fair management of sickness absence.

The absence policy explains what we expect from managers and employees and how we will work towards reducing levels of absence.

Aim

  • To provide a framework to minimise absence levels by supporting and managing sickness absence fairly and consistently, taking account of individual circumstances.
  • To promote the health, safety and well being of all employees through the early identification of absence issues and taking appropriate management actions.

Principles

  • We aim to promote a positive and preventative approach, aiming to be sensitive and supportive to those suffering from ill health
  • Good attendance is valued and managers will use available opportunities to acknowledge and recognise this eg at one to one meetings and formal performance management meetings
  • Regular attendance is an implied term of every employee's contract of employment and we expect employees to take responsibility for achieving and maintaining good attendance
  • Early intervention: in all cases of ill health managers will encourage and support individuals to return to work as soon as they feel well enough to do so; all reasonable steps will be taken to ensure that any associated factors in the work environment are identified at an early stage and appropriate actions taken
  • Sickness absence will be managed in accordance with equality principles; reasonable adjustments may be made to the procedure as appropriate to take account of a disability of an employee in accordance with the Disability Discrimination Act
  • Managers will investigate the reasons for an employee's absence to identify any underlying medical conditions and consider reasonable adjustments which can be made.
  • Sickness absence resulting from an incident or injury at work should be recorded in line with Health and Safety procedures.
  • Matters raised relating to attendance does not imply distrust or concerns regarding conduct. The Council will aim to distinguish between sickness absence and the abuse of the sickness absence system which may be dealt with as a conduct issue under the Council's disciplinary procedure.
  • Sickness absence management will be conducted with respect for confidentiality and in accordance with the requirements of Data Protection and Access to Medical Reports Act.