Sickness Absence Management Procedure for Employees

Full text

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Sickness Absence

Management

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This is a Royal Borough of Greenwich policy document

which the Governing Body has adopted.

CONTENTS

1

I

ntroduction 7

1.1 Policy 7

1.2 Aim 7

1.3 Prevention 7

1.4 Application and scope 8

1.5 Statutory Regulations 8

1.6 Confidentiality 9

1.7 Disabled Employees 9

1.8 Role of Council’s Medical Adviser 10

1.9 Misconduct 10

1.10 Trade Union Officials 10

2 Standards expected 11

2.1 Responsibilities of Employees 11

2.2 Rights of Employees 11

2.3 Responsibilities of the Royal Borough 12

2.4 Rights of the Royal Borough 13

2.5 Responsibilities of Headteachers/Managers/Governors 13

2.6 Rights of Headteachers/Managers/Governors 14

2.7 Responsibilities of the Governing Body 14

2.8 Rights of the Governing Body 15

3 Reporting and monitoring of sickness absence 16

3.1 Reporting Sickness Absence 16

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5 Informal sickness absence 19

5.1 Return-to-Work Contact 19

5.2 Informal Review 20

5.3 Informal to Formal Procedure 21

6 Formal sickness absence 22

6.1 Introduction 22

6.1.2 Part-time Employees 22

6.2 Stage 1: Intermittent Absence caused by unconnected 22

Illnesses

6.3 Stage 2: Intermittent Absences caused by unconnected 24

illnesses

6.4 Stage 3: Intermittent Absences caused by unconnected 26

illnesses

6.5 Chronic/Long-Term Sickness or Intermittent Absences 26

caused by an underlying medical condition

7 Other related issues 29

7.1 Sick Pay 29

7.2 Ill Health Retirement/ Redeployment/ Pension 29

7.3 Absence Due to Pregnancy 29

7.4 Industrial Injury 29

7.5 Probationers/ Other Employees with less than 26 Weeks service 30

7.6 Employees who in the School’s opinion are unfit to work 30

due to sickness

7.7 Absence for Medical/Dental and Cancer Screening 31

Appointments

7.8 Dealing with Specific Situations 32

7.8.1 Low volume Sickness in Association with Domestic or 32

Behavioural Problems

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Appendices

1 Delegation to Headteacher to staff appointments and A1

dismissals

2 Informal Sickness Absence Monitoring Form A2

3 Dealing with Absence Due to an Employee’s Disability A3

4 Referrals to the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser/ Conflict A4 of Opinion

5 Setting Targets A5

6 Appeal against Decision to Set Targets A6

7 Appeal against Decision to Advise Employee that A7

Employment is At Risk on Absence Grounds

8 Formal Meeting to Consider Dismissal on Sickness A8

Absence Grounds

9 Appeal against Decision to Dismiss Employee on Sickness A9

Absence Grounds

10 Phased Return Following Extended Sickness Absence A10

11 Terminal Illnesses A11

12 Ill Health Retirement A12

13 Flow chart for Formal Absence Procedure A13

Model Letters

1 Instruction to attend Stage 1 – Formal Review

2 Letter confirming decision to set an improvement target/Monitor 3 Letter confirming improvement over 3 month monitoring period 4 Letter confirming stage 1 outcome – chronic absence

5 Instruction to attend Stage 2 – Formal Review

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8 Instruction to attend Stage 3 – Formal Review

9 Letter confirming Dismissal – following EAR for intermittent absences 10 Letter confirming Dismissal - following EAR for chronic cases

11 Letter confirming ill-health Retirement

(where employee concurs with the medical Advisers conclusion that they are permanently incapable of undertaking the duties of their current post

but are able to undertake the duties of a comparable post) 12 Letter confirming dismissal by reason of permanent ill health

(where employee concurs with the medical Advisers conclusion

that they are permanently incapable of undertaking any employment with the Royal Borough)

13 Letter confirming dismissal by reason of permanent ill- health (where the employee does not concur with the Medical Advisers conclusion)

14 Referral to Occupational Health

15 Suspension from Duty on Medical Grounds 16 Notice to Attend Appeal Hearing

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Sickness Absence Procedure

1.0 Introduction 1.1 Policy

Schools have a responsibility to manage sickness absence in a way which safeguards the interests of the pupils and other staff whilst at the same time showing

understanding to the individual. The School aims to achieve this by providing a healthy and safe working environment and by keeping avoidable absence to an absolute minimum.

The Royal Borough of Greenwich, as a good employer, does not wish its employees to attend for work when they are too sick, but does expect its employees to take personal responsibility for their attendance and to meet their contractual obligations to work. Frequent or extended absence, even though genuine, can significantly impair the quality of the service that the school provides and affects the continuity of pupil’s education.

The procedure sets out guidance to Headteachers, Managers and Governors in the understanding, monitoring and reducing of sickness absence and the investigations and actions that should be taken.

1.2 Aim

The aim of this procedure is to provide a framework to effectively and consistently manage sickness absence, while ensuring that all staff are treated with respect, understanding, compassion, fairly, according to their particular circumstances, and with full regard to all the School’s policies and the Royal Borough’s duty of care and welfare to its employees.

1.3 Prevention

The primary objective of effective sickness absence management is to prevent sickness absence. Headteachers and governing bodies share a responsibility for the welfare of the individual and it should be borne in mind that sickness absence may be an indicator of organisational factors, e.g. low morale, low motivation, as much as reflecting the predisposition to sickness amongst staff.

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 Effective recruitment and selection procedures

 Good induction and training

 Training for those with supervisory responsibility

 Job satisfaction (morale and motivation)

 Clear allocation of responsibility

 Positive management attitudes

 Opportunities to discuss problems, issues and concerns with managers

 Good physical working conditions

Proper attention to managing sickness absence can help reduce absence rates; lessen the impact on the other staff; maintain continuity of teaching; and assist those who are off sick make a successful return to work.

1.4 Application and Scope

This procedure applies to all staff but does not apply:

 During a probationary period (in these circumstances managers should refer to the probation procedure)

 During or at the end of a fixed term contract of less than 26 weeks’ duration

 To temporary employees with less than 26 weeks’ service

 To absences due to pregnancy up to the end of the approved maternity leave period

 To absences caused by an exclusion from work due to contact with an infectious disease

 To agency staff

1.5 Statutory Regulations

This procedure takes account of all the relevant statutory requirements in the following ways:

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1. Write to the employee informing that their level of absence has triggered formal action and invite them to a meeting to discuss the matter.

2. Hold a meeting to discuss the level of absence – at which the employee has the right to be accompanied – and notify the employee of the decision. 3. If the employee wishes to appeal, hold an appeal meeting at which the

employee has the right to be accompanied – and inform the employee of the final decision.

Dismissal and notice periods are effective from the date of the IDD with reinstatement should the appeal be successful

There will be a right of appeal against any formal action taken.

The Director of Children’s Services (in practice, The Schools’ HR Team) must be informed of any proceedings that may lead to an employee's dismissal. The Director is entitled, and will in most cases wish, to be represented at such a hearing. The Director must also be informed immediately of the suspension of any member of staff.

Following a decision to dismiss an employee the school should formally notify the Director of Children’s Services in writing, outlining the reasons, who will issue the formal notice to dismiss.

1.6 Confidentiality

Throughout the application of this procedure Headteachers/Managers/Governors may become aware of medical or other personal information concerning individual employees. Headteachers/Managers/Governors must take care to ensure that confidentiality is maintained throughout and that information is only disclosed to those persons who are authorised to receive it. It is essential that confidential documentary information is kept in a secure place. All employees should be aware that any breach of confidentially will render them liable to disciplinary action.

1.7 Disabled Employees

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1.8 Role of the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser

Control of sickness absence is a management issue and referral to the Medical Adviser should not be used as a substitute for such action.

The Medical Adviser should be consulted in all sickness-related cases, which could lead to dismissal (see Appendix 4).

Referral should not be automatic, but should happen where there appears to be an underlying medical reason for the absence or where there is some other good reason for seeking medical advice.

Where there are undue delays in obtaining information from the Medical Adviser or where the Medical Adviser wishes to review the case at some future date and such a delay is considered unacceptable by management, advice will be provided by Human Resources.

If at any time the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser recommends redeployment, then this will be handled in accordance with the Royal Borough’s Redeployment Procedure. If at any time the advice of the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser conflicts significantly with the opinion of the employee’s own medical adviser then the employee should be interviewed or where appropriate examined by an

independent medical referee (see Appendix 4).

1.9 Misconduct

Disciplinary action will be taken where:

 The employee’s reported absence is proven to be not genuine.

 The employee engages in conduct that the School considers prejudicial to their recovery unless the employee’s medical advice states otherwise.

 An employee unreasonably refuses to attend a meeting with the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser or be examined by that Adviser. Employees must realise that any such refusal may result in decisions being made on the facts available at the time.

1.10 Trade Union Officials

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2.0 Standards expected

Headteachers, governing bodies, the Royal Borough and the individual employees all have a part to play in the management of sickness absence.

2.1 Responsibilities of Employees

Employees have the following responsibilities:

 To maintain a high level of attendance at work and meet their contractual obligations to work.

 To only report sick when genuinely unfit to attend, or remain at work.

 To notify the school, maintain contact and comply with the School’s Sickness Reporting Procedure.

 To be responsible for supplying valid medical certificates and ensuring that there are no gaps in any absence requiring certification.

 To attend any medical interview or examination with the Royal Borough's Medical Adviser if required in accordance with this procedure.

 To attend Return-to-Work (RTW) contacts with their

Manager/Headteacher/Governors, and any other meetings required in accordance with this procedure.

 To discuss any disability they may have with their

Manager/Headteacher/Governors if they wish to have that disability taken into account in relation to their job.

 To refrain from engaging in any conduct that will be prejudicial to their recovery during any period of sickness absence.

 To seek appropriate medical advice about the effect of any conduct on their future recovery.

2.2 Rights of Employees

Employees have the following rights:

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 To have their case dealt with fairly and to be made aware of their rights under this procedure.

 To be given an opportunity to discuss the matter with the appropriate Manager, Headteacher or Governors before any decision is made and to be given an opportunity to respond.

 To have access to their medical information and to receive copies of their medical reports when requested, subject to the provisions of the Access to Medical Records Act 1988.

 To have access to trade union representation, or any other representation, at all formal stages of this procedure, if requested.

 To be advised of the implications of unsatisfactory attendance and to be given an opportunity to improve (through the setting of clearly established targets).

 To be advised where they can obtain/access a copy of this procedure.

 To have their case treated in a confidential manner.

 To be given reasonable advance warning of when their sick pay is about to be stopped or reduced.

 To be treated in accordance with the Royal Borough's/School’s Equal Opportunities Policy.

 To appeal against any decision to dismiss on the grounds of sickness absence.

2.3 Responsibilities of the Royal Borough

The Royal Borough will assist schools in managing levels of absence by:

 Ensuring that appropriate procedures on the management of sickness absence are recommended for adoption by schools.

 To ensure Managers/Headteachers/Governors are aware of the Royal Borough’s approach in dealing with sickness absence and the procedures to be applied when action becomes necessary

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2.4 Rights of the Royal Borough

The Royal Borough has the following rights:

 To be present at hearings which could result in dismissal.

2.5 Responsibilities of Headteachers/Managers/Governors (where appropriate)

Headteachers/Managers/Governors have the following responsibilities:

 To maintain an awareness of sickness levels, thoroughly review the circumstances relevant to each individual case, apply formal procedures only where necessary and apply the appropriate procedures.

 To communicate with employees and maintain an awareness of their general welfare.

 To regularly monitor and review levels of sickness absence of any employee they manage and provide sickness absence details to the Royal Borough.

 To keep avoidable absence to an absolute minimum.

 To carry out Return-to-Work contacts or interviews as necessary.

 To make sure employees are aware of the School’s reporting procedures for sickness absence.

 To attempt to maintain contact with those on long-term sick leave, for example by regular telephone contact, by writing to the employee, or with the employee’s prior agreement by visiting the employee at home.

 To give written notice of all formal review meetings and to confirm any decisions in writing setting out the reasons for the decision (and any targets which have been set and the likely consequences of failing to meet the targets, for example moving to the next stage of the sickness absence procedure, if relevant).

 To determine that the level of sickness absence is unsatisfactory (and set targets for improvement).

 To deal fairly but firmly with an employee whose level of sickness absence is unsatisfactory.

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 To consider terminating an employee’s service prior to an employee exhausting their entitlements under the sickness scheme.

 To work in accordance with the Royal Borough’s/School’s Equal Opportunities Policy at all times.

 To ensure that the Royal Borough/School carries out its obligations in relation to the

 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (see Appendix 2).

 To apply this procedure fairly.

 To consider the advice of the Royal Borough.

 To lead in determining initial dismissal decisions (IDD) as appropriate.

 To hear appeals against dismissals as appropriate.

2.6 Rights of Headteachers/Managers/Governors

Headteachers/Managers/Governors have the following rights:

 To refer an employee to the Royal Borough's Medical Adviser for assessment.

 In appropriate cases to make contact in writing with the employee at home, or by regular telephone contact while observing the Human Rights Act 1998. In

particular the provisions relating to respect for family life, home life and private life.

 To initiate procedures for the termination of service where the level of sickness absence is no longer acceptable.

 To institute action under the School's disciplinary procedure where evidence indicates that the provisions in relation to sick leave are being abused.

 To medically suspend an employee where it is believed they are unfit to work.

2. 7 Responsibilities of the Governing Body

 The Governing Body have the following responsibilities:

 To adopt a sickness management procedure and regularly review this.

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 To monitor the absence of the Headteacher and ensure appropriate procedures are applied.

 To determine the appropriate course of action when a Headteacher refers a case when all actions taken by the Headteacher have failed to remedy the situation.

 To take account of the health of the school staff and to provide support consistent with their medical condition and contractual entitlements and to make

reasonable adjustments where disabled (see Appendix 3).

 To take appropriate action to maintain services when absence levels become excessive.

 To strike a balance between the School’s need for the work to be done and the employee's need for time to recover to full health.

 To provide a healthy and safe working environment.

 To effectively control and manage the School's services through the proper management of sickness absence.

 To consider the advice of the Royal Borough.

2.8 Rights of the Governing Body

The Governing Body have the following rights:

 To require an employee to undergo an interview or examination by the Royal Borough’sMedical Adviser.

 To terminate an employee’s service where the level of absence is no longer acceptable.

 To expect Headteachers/Managers to properly apply the sickness absence procedure and to effectively manage sickness absence.

 To consider terminating an employee’s service prior to an employee exhausting their entitlements under the sickness scheme.

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3.0 Reporting and monitoring of sickness absence 3.1. Reporting sickness absence

Due to the unplanned nature of sickness absence it is important that

Headteachers/Managers are able to plan workloads and continue to deliver an effective service. It is vital that absence is reported promptly so that appropriate arrangements can be made regarding an employee’s duties.

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4.0 Sickness absence

4.1 Broadly speaking patterns of sickness absence usually occur in one of two ways, namely:

 Persistent short-term absences; or

 Long periods of continuous absence.

Of course not all patterns of sickness absence fall neatly into one of these groups. The appropriate course of action will depend on the circumstances of the case and some flexibility of approach may be needed.

4.2 Persistent short-term sickness absence is characterised by:

 Frequent periods of intermittent absence where no underlying medical condition has been diagnosed; or

 Frequent periods of intermittent absence caused by a number of unconnected illnesses.

4.3 Intermittent absences caused by a number of unconnected illnesses should be managed in accordance with the Informal Procedure and paragraphs 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4 of the Formal Procedure.

4.4 Chronic/ Long-term sickness absence is characterised by, either:

 A long period of continuous sickness, or

 Frequent periods of intermittent absence caused by an underlying medical condition.

4.5 Absences for chronic/long-term sickness, which may include absences due to disability (see Appendix 3), are an issue of capability. They should be managed in accordance with the Informal Procedure and paragraph 6.5 of the Formal Procedure. 4.6Sickness absence may also occur in specific circumstances, which may require

Managers to seek further advice from Human Resources, for example:

 In association with domestic or behavioural problems.

 As a consequence of domestic violence.

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5.0 INFORMAL SICKNESS ABSENCE PROCEDURE 5.1 Return-to-Work Contact

The Headteacher/Manager will, as part of their everyday supervisory responsibilities, communicate with employees and maintain an awareness of their general welfare. In this way sickness absence problems will be identified early and resolved in the course of the day-to- day relationship.

When an employee returns to work the Headteacher/Manager will make contact with the employee on their first day back, or as soon as practicable.

Irrespective of the duration of the absence, the purpose of the contact is to create an opportunity for the Headteacher/Manager to cover the following:

 Welcome the employee back to work.

 Ensure the employee has completed a self-certification form or where appropriate, provide a medical certificate or fit to return certificate.

 Clarify the reason for the absence and discuss any problems and/or health concerns.

 Try and establish whether the absence is related to a disability or impairment and discuss whether any reasonable adjustments are required.

 Try and find out if the illness is likely to recur and if further time-off will be necessary(e.g. for treatment).

 Give the employee the opportunity to raise any other concerns relevant to their return to work.

 Advise the employee, if relevant, of any problems arising from the absence and any changes that may have occurred.

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5.2 Informal Review

Where the Headteacher/Manager believes that an employee's pattern of sickness absence gives rise to managerial concern or, in any event, when there has been 6 working days (see clause 6.1.2 for part-time employees) sickness absence (continuous or cumulative) in a 12- month period an informal review will be held with the

employee, normally within 2 weeks. In some cases it will not be appropriate to conduct an informal review within these timescales for medical reasons, but in all cases the Headteacher/Manager should provide the employee with an opportunity to informally discuss their absence before moving to the formal stages of the

procedure.

The reference to a 12-month period does not mean that the Headteacher/Manager has to wait twelve months before taking action.

The purpose of the informal review is to create an opportunity for the Headteacher/Manager to:

 Discuss the reasons for the absence and any problems or health concerns.

 Try and establish whether the absence is related to a disability or impairment and discuss whether any reasonable adjustments are required.

 Try and find out if the illness is likely to recur and if further time-off will be necessary(e.g. for treatment).

 Discuss any patterns of sickness absence that may have been identified.

Discuss and identify any work or other (see clause 4.6) issues that may be contributing to the sickness absence.

 Bring to the employee's attention the effect their absence is having on colleagues and service delivery.

 Advise the employee of any problems arising from the absence and any changes that may have occurred.

 Give the employee the opportunity to raise any other worries or concerns relevant to their return to work.

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 Consider whether alternative options in relation to hours or working practices would be appropriate bearing in mind the needs of the service.

 Advise the employee of their total absence due to sickness in the previous 12 months.

 Inform the employee about their sickness absence and advise them of how they will trigger the School’s Formal Sickness Absence Procedure.

 Agree any action plan for improving attendance.

 In certain circumstances it may be appropriate to refer the employee to the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser.

In all cases the Headteacher/Manager will keep a record of the informal review (Appendix 1 - Informal Sickness Absence Monitoring form). A copy of this must be given to the employee and the original placed on the employee's personnel file.

5.3 Informal/ Formal

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6.0 Formal Sickness Absence Procedure 6.1 Introduction

The Formal Sickness Absence procedure is triggered where the Headteacher/Manager believes that an employee’s level of sickness absence gives rise to managerial concern or, in any event, when the employee's level of sickness absence reaches 9 working days sickness absence (continuous or cumulative), or 4 periods of absence total more than 6 working days, in a 12-month period.

Triggering the Formal Procedure occurs automatically, but the decision following the review will depend on the individual circumstances and merits of the case.

In exceptional circumstances it may not be appropriate to conduct a formal review. For example, where an employee suffers a heart attack or is undergoing an operation and it is certified that they will be coming back to work following a reasonable period of absence for recovery.

6.1.2 Part-time employees

Any trigger points or targets set for improvement in accordance with this procedure shall apply equally to part-time employees. For example, a part-time employee who works an average 2.5 hours each day over a 5-day week would have the triggers applied for cases of chronic sickness when their absence has reached 20 days of 2.5 hours. Similarly, where a part-time employee works 3 days a week at any number of hours each day, the trigger would be applied when their absence has reached 12 days (the actual number of hours worked in this case is irrelevant).

6.2 Stage 1: Intermittent Absences caused by unconnected illnesses

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A trade union representative or work colleague may attend if the employee wishes. Five working days’ notice of the meeting will be given. If the representative is not available on the given date of the hearing the employee is entitled to propose a reasonable alternative date, which may be up to 5 working days after the original date. Reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate the availability of both the representative and the manager. After this period the School is entitled to hold the meeting irrespective of whether or not the employee attends.

The purpose of the meeting will be for the Headteacher/Manager to:

 Review the sickness absence record and previous efforts to assist the employee.

 Consider any relevant medical information that is available and obtain further medical information if deemed necessary by referral to the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser.

 Identify the impact the absence is having on the service and on colleagues.

 Discuss the reasons for absence and any information the employee has to offer (e.g. personal, domestic, welfare issues, that the absence was connected to a disability).

 Consider the employee's explanation.

 Consider, with the employee, whether reasonable adjustments are required, which may assist them in reducing their sickness absences (e.g. change in hours, working arrangements, alternative or temporary duties or redeployment bearing in mind the needs of the service).

At the meeting the potential for chronic/ long-term sickness may well be discussed. If this is the case then the matter should be handled in accordance with clause 6.5 below. Care should be taken to ensure that the meeting is not conducted in an adversarial manner; this is not a disciplinary issue.

If the Headteacher/Manager decides that it is not necessary at this time to set targets for improvement this will be confirmed in writing to the employee and they will be advised that their attendance will continue to be monitored.

If the Headteacher/Manager decides the level of sickness absence is unsatisfactory, and that targets are necessary, they will advise the employee:

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 The consequences of failure to reduce their level of sickness absence i.e. a further monitoring period will be set at Stage 2 of the procedure.

Details of setting targets for improvement are at Appendix 5.

At the end of the monitoring period the Headteacher/Manager will review the level of sickness absence. If it is satisfactory the employee will be advised in writing and reminded of the need to sustain their level of improvement. If it is not

satisfactory Stage 2 will be reached.

In all cases the Headteacher/Manager will keep a record of the Stage 1 Review and a copy will be placed on the employee's personnel file. This will remain on file but will be disregarded for the purposes of this procedure after a satisfactory period of attendance, which will not exceed one year.

There is a right of appeal against the decision to set targets at this stage (see Appendix6).

6.3 Stage 2: Intermittent Absences caused by unconnected illnesses

Stage 2 is reached in the following circumstances, either:

 The sickness absence has exceeded the targets set at Stage 1, Or

 The initial improvement achieved at the end of the monitoring period at Stage 1 has not been sustained.

A further meeting will be arranged by the Headteacher/Manager to review the employee’s sickness absence record. The purpose is outlined at Stage 1. Rights in relation to representation are set out in Stage 1.

If the Headteacher/Manager decides that it is not necessary at this time to set targets for improvement this will be confirmed in writing to the employee and they will be advised that their attendance will continue to be monitored.

If the Headteacher/Manager considers the level of sickness absence to be unacceptable:

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 The employee will be advised that their employment is at risk (“EAR”) and failure to reduce their level of sickness absence will result in them moving to Stage 3 of the procedure where the decision to dismiss may be made.

In all cases the Headteacher/Manager will keep a record of the Stage 2 Review. A copy will be placed on the employee's personnel file, but will be disregarded for the

purposes of this procedure after satisfactory attendance, which will not exceed one year.

If the level of sickness absence is satisfactory at the end of the Stage 2 monitoring period the employee will be advised in writing and reminded of the need to sustain their level of improvement and that their attendance will continue to be monitored. If it is not satisfactory Stage 3 will be reached.

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6.4 Stage 3: Intermittent Absences caused by unconnected illnesses

Stage 3 is reached when:

 The employee's sickness absence level fails to improve to meet the targets set at Stage 2.

Or

 The initial improvement achieved at the end of the monitoring period at Stage 2 has not been sustained.

In these circumstances the employee must be referred to the Medical Adviser for a report to be provided to the Headteacher/Manager (see Appendix 4).

In the light of the medical report, which should normally be no more than 6 weeks old, a decision will be made on how to proceed. Options may include:

 Consideration of any recommendations the Medical Adviser may make in relation to reasonable adjustments, redeployment or ill health retirement

 No further action at this time, but continued monitoring of attendance levels.

 A further meeting being arranged by the Headteacher/Governors, at an appropriate time(normally within 2-3 months), to consider dismissal on absence grounds (see Appendix 8).

The meeting at Stage 3 can be chaired by the Headteacher, if they have delegated responsibility to dismiss. Where the Headteacher does not have delegated

responsibility to dismiss the meeting will be chaired by a Panel of Governors (Appendix 1).

If dismissed an employee’s appeal rights will be in accordance with Appendix 9.

6.5 Chronic/ Long-Term Sickness or Intermittent Absences caused by an underlying medical condition

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The potential for chronic/ long-term sickness absence may well be identified at Stage 1 when the case is reviewed after 9 working days’ continuous sickness absence having occurred. Where an employee’s sickness absence has reached 20 working days (see clause 6.1.2 for part-time employees) in a 12 month period then at an appropriate stage, but normally within

2-3 months, the Headteacher/Manager shall make an assessment of the position based on the following factors:

 The nature of the illness and any medical information available.

 The likely length of the continuing absence.

 The need for the employee to carry out their work, for which they are engaged.

 Any other relevant circumstances, e.g. domestic violence must be treated with appropriate sensitivity.

 Whether the School/Department can continue to cope with the employee’s absence and, if so, for how much longer?

In order to come to a reasonable decision on the merits of the case the

Headteacher/Manager will need to have information about the medical prognosis. This will require the employee to be referred to the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser for assessment.

On receipt of the medical assessment a copy will be sent to the employee. The case will then be reviewed in light of the medical information, the ongoing impact on service delivery and other factors set out above. The employee will be required to meet with the Headteacher/Manager to discuss the situation and any options that may be available, for example:

 Any adjustments that can be made to job duties/hours/etc., or other support if the employee can return to work.

 Any recommendation from the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser of redeployment.

 Any recommendation from the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser of ill-health retirement.

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It is important at this stage that the employee understands the serious concern, which exists about the length of sickness absence and is given reasonable opportunity to discuss with the Headteacher/Manager any factors or personal circumstances, which they would like taken into account in the overall assessment.

If the Headteacher/Manager decides, in light of all the information, that it is not reasonably practicable to wait any longer for the employee to return, a letter will be sent advising the employee that their employment is at risk and failure to reduce their level of sickness absence will result in the decision to dismiss being considered at a formal meeting.

The EAR letter will be placed on the employee’s file, but will be disregarded for the purposes of this procedure after a satisfactory period of attendance, which will not exceed 3 years.

There is a right of appeal against the decision to advise employees that their employment is at risk at this stage (see Appendix 7).

The Headteacher/Governors will arrange a further meeting at an appropriate time (normally within 2-3 months), to consider dismissal on absence grounds (see Appendix 8).

The meeting at Stage 3 can be chaired by the Headteacher, if they have delegated responsibility to dismiss. Where the Headteacher does not have delegated

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7.0 Other related issues 7.1 Sick Pay

The Royal Borough operates a sick pay scheme in accordance with the provisions of the National Agreements.

Nothing in that scheme prevents the School/Royal Borough from considering terminating an employee’s service due to sickness absence prior to an employee exhausting their entitlements. Any decision to terminate an employee’s service prior to sick pay entitlements being exhausted will need to take into account the overall fairness.

7.2 Ill Health Retirement/Redeployment/Pension

The action to be taken in the event that medical advice recommends ill health

retirement, or redeployment, is set out at Appendix 12 together with the employee’s entitlements in these circumstances.

7.3 Absence due to Pregnancy

This procedure does not apply to sickness absence as a consequence of pregnancy, from the time of conception up to the conclusion of the statutory/contractual maternity leave period.

Sickness absence that occurs after that period is covered by this procedure and should be managed accordingly.

Employees are entitled to paid time off for antenatal care.

7.4 Industrial Injury

The Royal Borough operates a separate Industrial Injury Scheme. Where the

Headteacher/Manager believes that an employee's level of industrial injury absence gives rise to managerial concern action should be taken in accordance with the principles of this procedure.

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7.5 Probationers/ Other Employees with less than 26 Weeks’ Service

During the period of probation an employee’s work performance and conduct are assessed, in order that a decision may be taken concerning the employee’s suitability for permanent employment. One of these considerations is the employee’s attendance record, and it should be clearly understood that there is nothing

improper about terminating an employee during his/her probationary period because of unsatisfactory attendance record.

Equally it should be appreciated that there is nothing unlawful in terminating an employee’s employment whilst he/ she is on sick leave.

Obviously the Headteacher/Manager must ensure that the dismissal is ‘fair’ and that all of the procedures for probationary periods have been observed. Similarly, the Headteacher/Manager must examine each case ‘in the round’ and ensure that they are not being excessively harsh.

In particular, the manager will have regard to the nature and frequency of the illness. The Headteacher/Manager, where appropriate, should consult Schools’ HR where dismissal is being considered.

7.6 Employees who in the School’s opinion are unfit to work due to sickness

The School has a duty under Health and Safety legislation to take appropriate action where there is a belief that an employee is unfit to work.

If the Headteacher/Manager believes that an employee is unfit to work they will first discuss the matter with the employee and encourage them to absent themselves on the grounds of sickness and to seek medical advice if appropriate.

If an employee refuses then they should be placed on medical suspension and arrangements should be made for the employee to be interviewed or examined urgently by the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser. If the Medical Adviser, or the employee’s own Medical Adviser confirms that the employee is unfit then the period of absence will be treated as sickness.

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7.7 Absence for Medical/Dental and Cancer Screening appointments

Time off for Medical/Dental and Cancer screening appointments

Staff attending medical appointments (doctor, dentist, optician, hospital etc) should normally do so in their own time.

In some cases, it is difficult to arrange appointments outside normal working hours and is therefore reasonable in such cases to allow time off work, subject to service considerations. Where possible, staff should make appointments at times that minimises disruption to service delivery e.g. taking time off at either the beginning or end of your normal working day or during the lunch period, using flexi-leave, TOIL or annual leave. In exceptional circumstances where an employee requires urgent treatment and has no choice about when an appointment can be made, paid time off may be given and this will be recorded as medical appointment under the sickness absence reporting arrangements.

Staff requesting time off may be required by their manager to produce an appointment document confirming details of the appointment.

Pregnant employees have the right to paid time off for antenatal care appointments; see maternity policy for further information.

Treatment for Underlying Medical Conditions

For staff who need to undergo regular treatment for an underlying medical condition, appointments during working hours should be accounted for as above (see below for employees with disabilities). In some cases a temporary adjustment of the

employee’s contractual hours may be appropriate. Each case will be treated on its merits and much will depend on the individual circumstances and the nature of the treatment. Arrangements should be discussed and agreed, in advance between the individual and his/her line manager.

Cancer Screening

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Employees with Disabilities

Same rules apply as above however, as defined by the Equality Act 2010 paid time off for medical appointments linked to their disability will be treated as a reasonable adjustment and monitored in accordance with the sickness procedure. This may be taken into consideration when taking action, if appointments are frequent, ongoing and /or are having an impact on the service.

Accurate recording and monitoring record as medical appointments where paid time off is granted is essential not only in terms of good management practice but also in demonstrating reasonable adjustments taken in respect of disabled employees.

7.8 Dealing with Specific Situations

7.8.1 Low Volume Sickness in Association with Domestic or Behavioural Problems

When the Headteacher/Manager becomes aware that an individual is experiencing particular domestic or behavioural problems, consideration should be given to whether any assistance can be offered to the employee. For example, a person’s domestic problems may be alleviated by a temporary (or permanent) adjustment to working hours, temporary relocation etc where this is practicable and possible. Behavioural problems at work may include poor performance, changes in personality, irritability, slurred speech, impaired concentration and memory, deterioration in personal hygiene, anxiety and depression. These may be indicative that the employee has a special health problem (such as those possibly associated with alcohol, drug abuse or mental illness), and consideration should be given to

introducing measure to help the employees and encourage them to seek treatment. The Headteacher/Manager may wish to discuss the details of the case with Schools’ HR Team before taking action.

Where a Headteacher/Manager thinks that sickness absence may be due to the employee experiencing domestic violence it is essential that the issue is treated with sensitivity.

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7.8.2 Absence due to Alcohol or Drug Abuse

Where a Headteacher/Manager thinks that sickness absence may be due to alcohol or drug related problems, it is essential that the issue is tackled in a sensitive and supportive way.

The Headteacher/Manager may wish to consult Schools’ HR Team before an approach is made to the employee and there may be a need to liaise with the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser to seek advice about expert counselling.

Attention is drawn to the Royal Borough’s “Workplace Alcohol Policy” which can be provided by Human Resources.

7.8.3 Absence as a Consequence of the Working Environment

Where a Headteacher/Manager believes that employee absence is related to the working environment then he/she may wish to discuss, where appropriate, the issue with Schools’ HR Team in the first instance and seek assistance from the Medical Adviser if appropriate. This includes absences related to changes at work, volume, changes to responsibilities, working practices etc.

The control of work related ill-health is an essential part of sickness absence management and the provision of a healthy and safe working environment is not only necessary to comply with the law but is also essential in contributing to an efficient and economic workforce by ensuring their health and safety (refer to paragraph 1.3 about prevention).

The working environment should not only be considered in terms of physical aspects but also in terms of organisational influences as well.

Factors such as poor management, role ambiguity, work overload and unsatisfactory arrangements for hours of work and shifts can all be detrimental to the health of the workforce and will therefore have an adverse effect on efficiency.

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Appendix 1 (A1)

School Staffing Regulations 2003

Delegation to Headteacher of staff appointments and dismissals

1.1 The governing body has the overall responsibility for all staff appointments and dismissals in its school. With the exception of the appointment of heads and deputies and the dismissal of heads, where different arrangements apply (see section 2 below), it may delegate these responsibilities to the Headteacher, an individual governor, or a group of governors with or without the Headteacher.

1.2 Headteachers will normally be expected to lead in determining staff appointments outside the leadership group and all initial staff dismissal decisions (with the exception of the head teacher). Appeals against dismissal should be heard by governors. Therefore, other than in exceptional

circumstances (outlined below in 1.3), the governing body should delegate the responsibility for these matters to the Headteacher. The Headteacher may involve other governors in selection or dismissal processes, for example in interviewing candidates and consulting on their suitability or in hearing representations at a dismissal hearing, but the final decision should be the Headteacher’s. No governors involved in a dismissal process should be used to hear the appeal against that dismissal.

1.3 In certain circumstances, outlined below, the governing body may consider applying alternative arrangements, which may include decisions being made by an individual governor or a group of governors with or without the

Headteacher. If an alternative arrangement is decided, the Headteacher has a right to attend to offer advice. The circumstances are as follows:

 A Headteacher who is unwilling to perform these functions and whose previous history of service at the school did not include any such responsibilities. This gives an existing Headteacher the option of preserving their current working

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 Where the Headteacher has been directly involved in sickness procedures leading to dismissal, has instigated a proposal to dismiss, or is a witness of particular conduct giving grounds for the dismissal in question. The arrangements for delegating initial dismissal decisions will therefore need to be considered on a case by case basis in the light of circumstances.

 Where the governing body of a school with a religious character has agreed staffing policies which provide for governor involvement in the interests of preserving the school’s religious character.

 Appointments of support staff outside the leadership group who are required to act in a senior management capacity. This ensures that the governing body may also lead in the appointment of support staff with senior management

responsibilities.

 Where the LA has made representations to the chair of the governing body on grounds of serious concerns about the performance of the Headteacher.

 Where the Headteacher has failed to abide by financial limits agreed by the governing body for any school purpose.

1.4 The governing body should review, at least annually or otherwise where necessary, the continuation of any circumstances where the Headteacher does not lead on these staffing matters because of concerns about their conduct or performance (i.e. the final three indents above). Where a

Headteacher is on long-term sick leave, secondment or some other long-term absence, the governing body should consider whether it is appropriate to pass delegated responsibility to the person acting in the Headteacher’s place. The Head should have an opportunity to make representations on any decisions to discontinue or continue delegated responsibility.

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Recording Form Appendix 2 Royal Borough of Greenwich

Return to Work/Informal Sickness Absence Monitoring Form

Confidential

Section I: Employee Details

Name of Employee Payroll No

Job Title School

Section 2: Details of Review

Headteacher/Manager Conducting Review:

Please indicate the type of review by ticking the appropriate box below:

Return to Work Contact (see section 3) θ

Informal Review (see section 4) θ

Section 3: Return to Work Contact

Please indicate in the following: - Beginning and end of sickness dates - Number of days absent from work

- Reason of Absence

Section 4: Informal Reviews

Please indicate the following:

- Number of Sickness Days over last year - Number of Occurrences over last year

- Reasons for absence over last year

Section 5: Notes of Discussion & Expectations

Please note: If there is not enough space available please continue on reverse of form

Outcome/Action Required:

Did you remember to:

• State the purpose & importance of discussion • Identify impact of situation (effect on department, service users, etc.) • Focus on needed outcomes (action plan)

• Uncover causes, concerns Explore needed resources/support

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Appendix 3 (A3)

DEALING WITH ABSENCE DUE TO AN EMPLOYEE’S DISABILITY 1.0 Introduction

Employees with disabilities may be reluctant to inform their Headteacher/Manager of their disability. Where the Headteacher/Manager is aware that an employee may have a disability they should make every effort to overcome this reluctance and demonstrate to the employee that they will be treated in accordance with the legislation, which has been introduced to protect their interests.

The Headteacher/Manager can only be expected to deal with issues relating to a disability if they are aware of the nature and extent of that disability.

If the employee wishes to discuss their disability initially with someone other than theHeadteacher/Manager, they may be referred to the School’s HR Officer. It is also important that the Headteacher/Manager recognises the need to discuss such matters with their HR Adviser or other specialist adviser in appropriate cases.

2.0 The Law

 The Disability Discrimination Act 1995, gives rights to disabled employees:

 The right not to be unjustifiably discriminated against, and

 The right to have reasonable adjustments made in the work place.

 An employer discriminates against a disabled person if:

 For a reason which relates to the person’s disability, he treats them less favourably than he treats, or would treat, others to whom that reason does not or would not apply, or

 For a reason that relates to a person’s disability, the employer fails to make reasonable adjustments to the job when dealing with matters relating to the person’s employment.

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Physical impairments include sensory impairment. Mental illnesses will be covered, provided that they are clinically well recognised.

There are certain exclusions, including:

 Drug, alcohol, smoking addictions;

 Personality disorders;

 Hay fever;

 Deliberately acquired disfigurements;Appendix 3 (A3)

“Long-term” means that the effect has lasted or is likely to last at least 12 months or for the rest of the person’s life, if shorter. Progressive conditions are covered provided that they do have an adverse effect on the person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, even if this adverse effect is not substantial.

The Act lists the normal day-to-day activities, which are covered:

 Mobility;

 Manual dexterity;

 Physical co-ordination;

 Continence;

 Ability to lift, carry or otherwise move every day objects;

 Speech, hearing or eyesight;

 Memory or ability to concentrate, learn or understand;

 Perception of the risk of physical danger

3.0 The Employer’s Obligations

The Employer is under an obligation to make arrangements for a disabled person if a physical feature of the Employer’s premises, or any arrangements made by or on behalf of the Employer, place the disabled person concerned at a substantial disadvantage in comparison with persons who are not disabled. It is a duty of the Employer to take such steps as are reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, in order to prevent the arrangement or feature having that effect.

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 Extent to which taking the step would prevent the effect in question;

 Extent to which it is practical for the Employer to take the steps;

 Financial and other costs which have been incurred by the Employer in taking the steps;

 Extent to which taking the step would disrupt any of the Employer’s activities;

 Extent of the Employer’s financial and other resources;

 Availability to the Employer of financial or other assistance in respect of taking the steps. Examples of steps the Employer may have to take:

 Adjustment to premises;

 Allocating some duties to another person;

 Transferring to an existing vacancy;

 Altering working hours;

 Assigning to a different place of work;

 Allowing absences during working hours for rehabilitation, assessment or 

treatment;

 Training a disabled person;

 Acquiring or modifying equipment;

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Appendix 3 (A3)

A person with a disability will not necessarily have a higher level of sickness absence than an able-bodied employee. The Headteacher/Manager should not assume that disabled employees would be absent more often than other employees. However, some of the absence experienced by disabled employees may be associated with rehabilitation, assessment or treatment of the disability (e.g. regular hospital treatment) or training in matters related to the disability (e.g. use of special aids). Such absences should be recorded as sickness and monitored.

All of this absence is to be treated as a reasonable adjustment where associated with rehabilitation, assessment or treatment provided that the level of absence is

commensurate with the nature of, and directly related to, the disability and reasonable in relation to the financial cost, effect on service and proper

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Appendix 4 (A4)

Referrals to the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser/Conflict of Opinion Referrals

1. All employees must be informed if a decision is made to refer them to the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser, preferably in person followed by a letter. A copy of the referral letter should be given to the employee.

2. When referring an employee to the Royal Borough's Medical Adviser the following information should be provided (at least on the first occasion) on the Occupational Health Referral Form

(i) Date of birth. (ii) Name.

(iii) Home address.

(iv) The employing department.

(v) Post designation (enclose Job Description and Person Specification where applicable).

3. Depending on the circumstances the following information should be included under the heading‘Headteacher/Managers concern’:

(i) Absence record (and reasons) for at least the previous 12 months.

(ii) Details of relevant features of work e.g. heavy lifting, shift work. (iii) Details of behaviour/work performance.

4. The Medical Adviser should be asked specific questions, for example: (i)The likely return to work date or any other alternative employment?

(ii) The likelihood of fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of the post in the future? (iii) Whether there is an underlying medical condition, and whether this is likely to lead to a high level of sickness?

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(v) If the employee is permanently unfit to undertake the duties of their current post or any other comparable employment what other duties if any can they undertake commensurate with their medical condition (please specify the nature of the other duties)?

(vi) Whether the employee is disabled within the provisions of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995?

vii) What is the likelihood of the effect of the impairment on normal day-to-day activities continuing and for how long?

(viii) What reasonable adjustments should be considered to facilitate their return to work?

Appendix 4 (A4)

(ix) Whether a change of job should be considered, whether it should be on a temporary or permanent basis and what reasonable adjustments should be considered?

5. The Medical Adviser should also be informed if the matter has reached the stage immediately prior to terminating an employee’s service on absence grounds. 6. The Medical Adviser's report (a copy of which shall be given to the employee) will normally indicate one of the following:

(i) There is no obvious underlying medical condition and the case should be dealt with by 'management action'.

(ii) There is an underlying medical condition:

a) Which will improve at some future point in time.

b).Which leads the Medical Adviser to recommend that the School consider amending the duties of the post to 'light' duties, or temporary/permanent redeployment.

c) Which makes the employee permanently incapable of carrying out the duties of their current post.

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e) Which makes the employee permanently unfit to undertake any job in the School and should therefore be retired on the grounds of ill health.

f) Which is a disability within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and indicating such reasonable adjustments to the job considered appropriate.

(iii) In the case of 5ii(a) and (b) the Medical Adviser may recommend no action being taken at that point in time and that they wish to review the case in say 3 or 4 months time.

7. Where termination of service on the grounds of absence is considered the Medical Adviser’s report should normally be no more than six weeks old.

8. The key elements of the Medical Adviser's advice will be, firstly, whether there is a serious underlying medical condition, which explains absences from, and/or behaviour at work; secondly, what the future prospects are for improvement. The Medical Adviser will give a view based very much on individual circumstances and a

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Appendix 4 (A4)

CONFLICT BETWEEN THE ROYAL BOROUGH’S MEDICAL ADVISER AND EMPLOYEE’S GP

9. Where there is a clear conflict of medical opinion between the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser and the employee's own doctor, an independent medical opinion will be sought. Agreement should be reached between the School and the employee (or their representative) as to the person to be appointed as an independent Medical Referee.

10. The Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser will put forward the names of two(where possible) Physicians from the ‘Handbook of the Society of Occupational Medicine’ who have the appropriate qualifications and experience. This will take into account, where appropriate, the need to use a Medical Referee who has particular

experience in dealing with certain medical issues.

11. If the employee proposes the use of a different Medical Referee, the department should seek the advice of the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser on the

appropriateness of the person suggested.

12. The School should obtain written agreement from the employee on the Medical Referee to be used prior to referring the matter. The employee should be invited to submit his or her own medical reports for consideration by the Medical Referee. 13. If agreement has not been reached between the School and the employee (or their representative) as to the person to be appointed as a Referee a second opinion will be sought from one of the Physicians recommended by the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser.

14. A copy of the Independent Medical Referee’s report shall be given to the employee unless the Royal Borough’s Medical Adviser advises otherwise.

15. The Independent Medical Referee’s opinion is binding on both parties.

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Appendix 5 (A5) SETTING TARGETS 1.0 Introduction

The aim of setting targets is to focus an employee’s mind. They should be achievable and linked to any support and assistance offered to the employee and should reflect the employee’s personal circumstances. By setting targets it is hoped that there will be an improvement in employee’s sickness absence levels as employees take personal responsibility for their attendance.

2.0 Targets

Each case will be judged according to the particular circumstances, but normally it will be considered against the following targets:

 The employee should have no more than 4 working days sickness absence during the initial 3-month monitoring period, and

 The employee should have an acceptable level of attendance for each consecutive 3 month monitoring period.

Where there is a sound reason for doing so the Headteacher/Manager may set a different target after consulting with their HR Adviser and such decision should take account of relevant factors, which may include:

 The reason for the sickness.

 The volume of the sickness.

 Any previous action or targets set.

 The length of service of the employee.

 The employee’s sickness record during previous years.

 Other relevant absence.

 Whether an employee has a disability and whether reasonable adjustments have been made or are to be made.

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Appendix 6 (A6)

APPEAL AGAINST DECISION TO SET TARGETS

All employees who have been set targets, in accordance with these procedures have the right of appeal against the decision. If the targets are given by the Headteacher the employee has the right of appeal to a Governing Body Appeals Committee. If the targets are given by a Manager, who is not the Headteacher, the employee has the right of appeal to the Headteacher.

Right of Appeal

1. There is a right of appeal to the Headteacher/Governing Body Appeals Committee against any decision by the Headteacher/Manager to set targets for improvement.

2. Appeals must be lodged within 10 working days of the date of the decision to set targets for improvement.

3. The reason for appealing must be explained in writing and must relate to one of the following grounds:

(i) Unreasonable decision to set targets.

(ii) Unreasonable decision to set targets in light of relevant medical information. (ii) Unreasonable decision in light of the personal information provided by the

employee.

4. Medical information from the employee’s Medical Adviser simply stating the employee is too sick to work, or similarly vague medical opinions, will not be considered relevant medical information and therefore are not an allowable ground for appeal.

5. The appeal will normally be heard within 20 working days of it being lodged, but in any event as soon as is reasonably practicable.

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7. The employee will be given at least 5 working days’ notice in writing of the hearing and will also be advised of the date, time and place, and of their right to be

accompanied by a trade union representative, or a work colleague, and to call witnesses.

8. It is not intended that the appeal will constitute a re-hearing of the case and the concept of an adversarial hearing at this stage should be avoided: this is not a disciplinary issue. However the appeal does need to be structured in order that management can set out all the relevant information and the employee has a full opportunity to put forward their case. Appendix 6 (A6)

Procedure at hearing

9. The hearing of the appeal will proceed as follows:

a. The Headteacher/Governing Body Appeals Committee will establish that the employee is aware of their rights to representation and to call witnesses if desired. b. If the employee is a trade union official, the Headteacher/Governing Body Appeals Committee will also establish whether the circumstances of the case have been discussed with a full time official of the Union concerned and HR.

c. The employee will submit their case in the presence of the Headteacher/Manager and call any witnesses to give evidence and/or produce any necessary documentary evidence in support of the case.

d. The Headteacher/Manager shall be given the opportunity to ask questions of the employee and witnesses.

e. The Headteacher/Governing Body Appeals Committee and HR may ask questions of the employee and witnesses.

f. Any witnesses shall withdraw after giving evidence and answering any questions put to them.

g. The Headteacher/Manager will submit their case in the presence of the employee and shall call any witnesses to give evidence and/or produce any necessary

documentary evidence in support of the case.

h. The employee shall be given the opportunity to ask questions of the Headteacher/Manager and witnesses.

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j. Any witnesses shall withdraw after giving evidence and answering any questions put to them.

k. The Headteacher/Manager and the employee may sum up their cases if they so wish. The employee has the right to sum up last.

l. The Headteacher/Manager and the employee may be asked to withdraw whilst the Headteacher/Governing Body Appeals Committee considers the case. If any recall is desired to clarify points of uncertainty, both parties will be asked to return.

m. Headteacher/Governing Body Appeals Committee may, decide:

(i) That the appeal is not upheld, and the Headteacher/Manager's decision be confirmed.Appendix 6 (A6)

(ii) That the appeal is upheld. In these circumstances the Headteacher/Governing Body Appeals Committee will decide on the course of action to be taken by the Headteacher/Manager.

n. Where appropriate both parties shall be recalled and notified of the Headteacher/Governing Body Appeals Committee’s decision.

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Appendix 7 (A7)

APPEAL AGAINST DECISION TO ADVISE EMPLOYEE THAT EMPLOYMENT IS AT RISK ON ABSENCE GROUNDS

Note: Any reference to Headteacher, Manager, HR or employee in the procedures below shall be construed as relating equally to other persons authorised to act on their behalf.

All employees who have been issued with an Employment at Risk, in accordance with these procedures have the right of appeal against the decision. If the Employment at Risk is given by the Headteacher the employee has the right of appeal to a Governing Body Appeals Committee. If the Employment at Risk is given by a Manager, who is not the Headteacher the employee has the right of appeal to the Headteacher.

Right of Appeal

1. There is a right of appeal to an Appeals Committee against any decision by a Headteacher/ Manager to advise an employee that their employment is at risk on absence grounds.

2. Appeals must be lodged within 10 working days of the date of the decision.

3. The reason for appealing must be explained in writing and must relate to one of the following grounds:

(i) Unreasonable decision in the light of relevant medical information. (ii) Unreasonable decision in the light of personal information provided

the employee.

4. Medical information from the employee’s Medical Adviser simply stating that the employee is too sick to work, or similarly vague opinions, will not be considered relevant medical information and therefore are not an allowable ground for appeal. 5. The appeal will normally be heard within 30 working days of it being lodged, but in any event as soon as is reasonably practicable.

6. Arrangements for the appeal will be made by the School.

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