Attendance Management Policy and Procedures

Full text

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Attendance Management Policy

and Procedures

Attendance Management Policy………..2

The Short Term Attendance Management Procedure………...10

Explanation of Terms Used……….13

The Stages of the Short Term Procedure……….16

Introduction to Managing Long Term Sickness Absence……….25

The Long Term Attendance Management Procedure………28

Explanation of Terms Used……….29

The Phases of the Long Term Procedure……….30

Appendix A: The Appeals Process for Attendance Improvement Notices.……….36

Appendix B: The Procedure for Hearing a Recommendation for Termination of Employment………...38

Appendix C: The Conduct of Attendance Management Meetings………41

Equality Impact assessment summary………...44

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ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT POLICY

Policy Statement ……… 2

Key points………. 2

1. Why is it important to manage attendance?... 3

2. Who takes responsibility for managing attendance?... 3

3. Pre-employment and Probation Monitoring……….. 5

4. What is the definition of a sickness absence?... 5

5. Are flexible leave options available?... 5

6. To whom does the Attendance Management Policy and Procedure apply?... 6

7. Are there other policies and procedures linked to Attendance Management?... 6

8. What is the Equality Act and how does it impact on Management of Attendance?... ………7

9. Corporate and departmental absence targets……….. 8

10. What are the Attendance Management Procedures?... 9

Equality Impact Assessment……….44

Policy Statement:

Improving Staff Attendance Positively Impacts on Service Delivery.

At East Sussex County Council we believe in providing our employees with a healthy working environment and promoting and encouraging a healthy approach towards life.

Key points

 Attendance Management starts at the point of recruitment and selection.  It is important to manage sickness absence in a fair, consistent and

compassionate way.

 There is an agreed procedure for managing short term sickness absence that must be followed.

 A different procedure applies to long term sickness absences of 4 continuous calendar weeks’ duration or more.

 Where either procedure is followed, it may be legitimate to consider recommending termination of employment on the grounds of “incapability due to ill health” even where the health reason is genuine.

 Line managers are responsible for managing attendance with support from Personnel and Training (PAT).

 SAP provides up to date Attendance Management information and managers will receive monthly trigger information from SAP or FirstCare, if they are operating this pilot scheme.

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Copy approved by Governance Committee: February 2011 Page 3 of 44  The Attendance Management Toolkit containing advice and guidance for

managers is available on the Intranet.

 The Attendance Management Policy and Procedure applies to all Council employees including those with a disability as defined in the Equality Act 2010. Exceptions are those employees in their probationary year and employees in schools where the Governing Body has not adopted this policy.

1. Why is it important to manage attendance?

1.1 The County Council believes that its employees are its most valuable resource and recognises the important contribution made by regular attendance at work to maintaining high levels of service to the community.

1.2 Managing attendance is not only about ensuring that employees do not take time off work unless they have a genuine reason, it is also about providing a healthy working environment and promoting and encouraging a healthy approach towards life.

1.3 It is also important to manage attendance because of the impact staff absence can have on other colleagues in the workplace, who may be required to cover the duties of absent staff in addition to their own workloads.

1.4 The Council believes that it is important to manage sickness absence in a fair, consistent and compassionate way.

1.5 Whilst some staff absence is inevitable, high levels of absence overall can be one of the many indicators of low staff morale. If absence levels are considered to be too high, managers may need to review working practices and/or working conditions and/or the culture in the workplace itself.

1.6 Acknowledging staff attendance following a sickness absence reinforces an individual’s value at work and allows managers scope to identify ways in which employees can be supported to improve their attendance at work at an early stage.

2. Who takes responsibility for managing attendance?

2.1 Chief Officers/Headteachers

2.1.1 Chief Officers/Headteachers are responsible for ensuring that arrangements are in place in their departments/schools for the effective management of attendance, which will include regular reporting to service/school management teams.

2.2 Line Manager

2.2.1 The Attendance Management Procedure recognises that day to day absence management issues are best handled on an individual, one-to-one basis and the appropriate person to do this is the line manager. An integral part of each manager’s responsibility is to maintain accurate record keeping, in order to develop a fair and consistent managerial approach to work attendance.

2.2.2 Consequently, managers should have the following target set as one of their annual performance targets each year:

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2.2.3 Working conditions are regulated by Health and Safety legislation and managers are expected to ensure that all relevant legislation to protect the health and safety of its employees is complied with and that all necessary protection, training and awareness is provided to employees.

2.2.4 In schools it may be more appropriate for a member of the senior management team (who may not be the line manager) to manage attendance to ensure confidentiality of personal information is adequately safeguarded.

2.3 The Personnel and Training Team (PAT)

2.3.1 The Personnel and Training (PAT) Occupational Health Team, Staff Counselling Service and PAT Health and Safety Advisers are available to assist Chief Officers, Headteachers and senior/line managers in implementing Council policies concerning the health, safety and welfare of employees.

2.3.2 PAT also support the effective management of attendance by providing information on absence levels and advice and support to managers on the operation of the procedures, during the formal stages.

2.4 Individual employees

2.4.1 Each employee has a personal responsibility to take all reasonable measures to ensure their fitness for work and to strive for 100% attendance.

2.4.2 If absences are work related, employees have a responsibility to be proactive in raising their concerns about work related causes of absence as part of the normal staff/manager relationship. Managers should then seek advice in accordance with the guidance to line managers in Paragraph 2.2.3 above.

2.4.3 Each employee has a personal responsibility to be pro-active in participating fully and constructively at all stages of the Attendance Management Procedures (both short term and long term) should either apply to them at any stage of their employment with the Council, in order to ensure that they receive appropriate help and support to minimise their sickness absence record and optimise their well being.

2.4.4 Where references to the Occupational Health Team or Occupational Health Physician are made, the employee’s consent for an approach to their own doctor will be sought. The County Council has in place procedures for such referrals and advice can be provided by PAT.

2.4.5 In the event of consent not being given, the employee may be required to see the Occupational Health Physician and/or the Occupational Health Physician will be asked to give an opinion based upon available information at the time (Access to Medical Records Act 1988 will apply).

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3. Pre-employment and Probation Monitoring

3.1 Managing sickness absence and ensuring attendance at work starts at the point of recruitment and selection and it is the responsibility of managers, before confirming an

appointment, to seek health related information from a previous employer, such as

number of days absence in a given period (usually 12 months or 2 years) with the number of occasions this represented and the reasons for absence. Under the

provisions of the Equality Act 2010 this information may only be sought once an offer of employment has been made. This offer should be conditional on satisfactory

pre-employment checks and candidates should not be appointed where their previous health record subsequently causes concern. See: Recruitment and Selection/Stage 8/ Pre-employment checks and references

3.2 Similarly, where a newly appointed member of staff is on probation, the attendance record should be reviewed regularly during the probationary period. Although attendance should be monitored closely at all times, particular attention should be given to attendance levels during the Probationary Review and Appointment Support periods, as part of the Supported Introduction to Employment procedures.

See: Managing Staff/Support for managers and staff during the first year

3.3 The Attendance Management Policy and the Procedures for managing both short and long term sickness absence do not apply to employees working within their probationary period. These employees will have their attendance managed through the Probationary Review Procedure. However the same attendance standards will apply under the Probationary Review Procedure, as under the Attendance Management Policy and Procedures (short and long term), and any breaches of attendance triggers or cause for concern, will result in serious consideration being given to the probationary employee’s continued employment.

3.4 To ensure the employee is being treated equitably, managers will need to be aware of the overall absence reduction target their Department/School is aiming to achieve as this will provide a benchmark against which the probationary employee’s attendance can be assessed.

See: Managing Staff/Managing sickness and attendance for the Absence Targets by Departments document which is reviewed annually.

4. What is the definition of a sickness absence?

4.1 A sickness absence is any absence from work where the employee is unfit through a medical condition or receiving medical treatment, including medical conditions and

treatments falling within the Equality Act (see below, Section 8), except in the

following circumstances:

 any pregnancy related illness

 authorised unpaid or paid leave for hospital or doctors appointments at which no actual treatment is to be provided

 authorised leave for dentists appointments

 authorised annual and flexi leave (including agreed “duvet days” – see Para. 5.2 below)

5. Are flexible leave options available?

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may prove useful to staff and managers, if it were to avoid what might otherwise be a staff sickness i.e. where an unexpected personal or domestic situation arises.

5.2 These “duvet days” allow an employee to take up to two days of their annual or flexi leave entitlement per leave year at short notice, subject to their line manager’s agreement, if it would prevent an unauthorised absence. The needs of the service and the possible costs associated with cover arrangements must be considered by the manager prior to authorisation.

5.3 However, caution must be exercised by managers in using this discretion and any genuine sickness absence must be recorded as such.

5.4 Employees working in schools may not exercise the option to request a “duvet day” short notice leave day, due to the nature of term time working and contractual requirement for leave to be taken in school holidays only.

5.5 Other flexible leave options are detailed in the: Life Wise Flexible Working Directory

6. To whom does the Attendance Management Policy and Procedure apply?

6.1 The Attendance Management Policy and Procedure applies to all Council employees, including those on both permanent and temporary contracts, and to employees working within schools where the Governing Body has adopted it. The Attendance Management Policy and Procedure does not apply to employees in their probationary period (see Para. 3.3 above): the Supported Introduction to Employment Policy applies in these cases.

6.2 The Attendance Management Policy and Procedure applies, without exemptions, to all Council employees who have a disability or medical condition which falls within the definitions set out in the Equality Act. However, managers will have regard to the impact of the employee’s disability when managing sickness absence and agreeing any reasonable adjustments.

7. Are there other policies and procedures linked to Attendance Management?

7.1 Related policies

7.1.1 Alongside the Attendance Management Policy and Procedure there are the following related policies:

 Health and Safety/Welfare policies

 Policy on Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace

 No Smoking at Work Policy

 Stress Management Policy

 Management of Unacceptable Performance (Capability) Policy

 Disciplinary Policy and Procedure

 Supported Introduction to Employment / Supported Introduction to Employment for LMG Managers Policy

 Annual Leave Policy

 Life Wise Flexible Working Directory

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Copy approved by Governance Committee: February 2011 Page 7 of 44 7.2 Attendance Management Toolkit

7.2.1 Further guidance for managers is available on the Intranet, see: Managing Sickness and Attendance.

7.2.2. The documents available on these pages provide comprehensive guidance and advice to support managers at different stages of the Attendance Management Procedure and form the Attendance Management Toolkit:

 Attendance Management – Frequently Asked Questions

 Notification and Recording of Absence

 Occupational and Statutory Sick Pay

 Available Support

 The management of stress – Manager’s Toolkit

 Absence Targets by Department

 Activity Logs for Managers

 Personal Attendance Support Plan template

7.3 Guidance for the management of disability in the workplace

7.3.1 Managers should also ensure that they are familiar with the guidance documents:

Fact Sheet – Disability and the Equality Act

 Reasonable Adjustments – making changes to the workplace environment

 Fact Sheet – managing disability in the work place

See:Equality for Disabled People

8. What is the Equality Act and how does it impact on Management of Attendance?

8.1 The Equality Act 2010 acknowledges that an employee’s illness may fall within the definition of a disability:

‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on his/her ability to carry out normal day to day activities’

8.2 The definition has four parts:

 the person must have a physical or mental impairment

 the impairment must have adverse effects which are substantial  the substantial effects must be long term

 the long term substantial effect must have an adverse effect on normal day to day activities

8.3 Under the Equality Act, employers must consider making “reasonable

adjustments” to assist employees (or potential employees) who, within the terms of the

Act are disabled, to allow them to access work or to continue working. This might include:

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Copy approved by Governance Committee: February 2011 Page 8 of 44  permitting different patterns of work

as long as the change is deemed reasonable in the context of the specific circumstances.

8.4 In the first instance, managers are responsible for decisions on whether an adjustment is “reasonable” based on the following factors:

 how effective it would be in preventing or minimising any disadvantage to the disabled person

 how practical it is – an action is more likely to be reasonable if it is straightforward  the financial and other costs, including any disruption to other people or to the

activities of the team

 the extent of financial and other resources available (in the Council overall, not the particular team, school or department)

 the availability of external support and funding

 the extent to which the disabled person operates, if someone refuses to

co-operate with the only adjustments that are reasonable, managers do not have a duty to do more

8.5 Managers can approve whatever they consider to be reasonable for a person within their team, school or department. However, if a manager considers refusing an adjustment that has been suggested by the disabled person or by an internal or external medical or Occupational Health Adviser, he/she must first discuss their decision with their Personnel Officer in the Advisory Team in Personnel and Training. 8.6 The Equality Act applies to staff who work full or part time, temporarily or permanently and also covers some people who work for the Council on a self-employed basis or through a consultancy or agency.

8.7 Guidance and advice on the Equality Act is available from the relevant Personnel Officer who will involve the Occupational Health Team and the Legal Services Team as appropriate.

8.8 The provisions of the Equality Act are relevant to, and underpin, the corporate procedures. The implications of the Equality Act in relation to the member of staff, their circumstances and the nature of their illness should be considered at each stage of the Attendance Management Procedure, because an individual employee’s condition may fluctuate or change (for better or worse) over time. Similarly an employee not previously covered by the provisions of the Equality Act may fall within its definitions following a period of illness or injury.

8.9 Managers have a responsibility to ensure they are familiar with, and understand the application of, the comprehensive guidance concerning the Equality Act and Employment which is available on the Intranet.

See: Equality for Disabled People

9. Corporate and departmental absence targets

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9.2 The County Council has sickness absence targets, in order to reduce absence days per employee per year. There is an overall target for the County Council as a whole and there are also separate departmental targets. Both are reviewed and revised annually. See: The Council Business Plan/ Strategic Management and Economic Development for the corporate sickness absence reduction target and Managing Sickness and Attendance for the document Absence Targets by Departments.

9.3 Both the overall corporate target, and the departmental absence targets, provide managers with benchmark figures of sickness absence days per annum to facilitate the fair and consistent exercise of their judgement and discretion, when managing sickness absence and deciding whether the employee’s sickness absence record gives cause for concern.

10. What are the Attendance Management Procedures?

10.1 The Attendance Management Procedures set a framework for managing both short term and long term sickness absences in the context of the Council’s Attendance Management Policy Statement.

10.2 The arrangements detailed in both the short term and long term procedures are to be followed, with no exemptions, on every occasion when employees are, or have been, absent from work due to sickness.

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THE SHORT TERM ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT PROCEDURE . Record one of three possible outcomes If appropriate seek Occupational Health Advice Review at regular, appropriate intervals not less

than once every 6 months.

Hearing to consider continued employment -

may result in dismissal (Right to Appeal)

Stage 4

Trigger meeting/ cause for concern/ Second or Final Attendance

Improvement Notice (Right to Appeal)

Stage 3

Trigger meeting/ cause for concern/ Attendance Improvement Notice

(Right to Appeal) Strategy for Improvement,

Develop Personal Attendance Support Plan

Cause for concern but mitigating factors: Chronic Illness, disability issues

covered by the Equality Act external factor eg Pandemic

Cause for concern Not concerned

– a ‘blip’ in otherwise good attendance record

Stage 2 Trigger meeting

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Short term procedure

Phase 1

Initial attendance management meeting Develop Personal Attendance Support

Plan

Phase 2

Interim attendance management meeting(s)

Phase 3

Final attendance management meeting

Phase 4 Return to work

(including medical redeployment)

24 month period Re-open Plan if further related

absences occur

Stage 1 Return to work meeting

Stage 2

Where long term absence relates to health issues or sickness absences in plan already

developed in short term procedure

Trigger meeting

Strategy for Improvement Personal Attendance Support Plan

Stage 3 Trigger meeting Attendance Improvement Notice

(Right of Appeal)

Stage 4 Trigger meeting Second or Final Attendance

Improvement Notice (Right of Appeal)

Hearing to consider continued employment - may result in termination with Right of Appeal

If plan not working or service cannot sustain absence level

Where long term absence starts at stage 4

Long term procedure

Phase 3 •Ill health retirement

•Hearing to consider continuing employment – may result in termination with Right of Appeal.

or

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ST.1 Notification of Absence………. 12

ST.2 Frequent Short Term Sickness Absences……… 13

ST.3 What is the Short Term Procedure?... 13

ST.4 What is meant by the term “triggering”?... 13

ST.5 What are trigger reports?... 14

ST.6 What is meant by “cause for concern”?... 14

ST.7 What is a strategy for attendance improvement?... 14

ST.8 What is a Personal Attendance Support Plan?... 15

ST.9 What is an Attendance Improvement Notice?... 15

ST.10 Stage One – Return to Work Interview……… 16

ST.11 Stages Two, Three and Four of the Short Term Procedure- General Principles……….. 16

ST.12 Stage Two – Return to Work Trigger Meeting……… 18

ST.13 Stage Three – Return to Work Trigger Meeting………. 20

ST.14 Stage Four - Return to Work Trigger Meeting……… 21

ST.15 Are there any circumstances at a Stage 3 or Stage 4 meeting when a manager may decide not to issue an Attendance Improvement Notice?... 22

ST.16 What happens if an employee who is currently being managed under Stages 2- 4 of the Short Term Procedure commences a period of long term sickness absence? ………... 23

ST.1 Notification of Absence

ST1.1 Each employee must notify their line manager as soon as they know that they are unable to attend work. Guidance should be issued to all employees and managers to ensure that they understand their responsibilities for the notification and management of absence.

See: When you are off sick for the Notification and Recording of Sickness guidance document.

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ST1.3 For employees participating in the FirstCare Attendance Management Pilot, all absences should be reported to FirstCare, as well as to the line manager if there are work issues to be discussed. Managers within the Pilot group do not have to separately record absences on the ‘notification of absence from duty’ form, as SAP will automatically be updated via monthly uploads into the system.

ST.2 Frequent Short Term Sickness Absences

ST.2.1 Frequent short term absences that, in their nature, are unrelated may collectively signal general poor health. In such circumstances, there is likely to come a point where (assuming the attendance management procedures have not successfully resolved the problem) the interests of the organisation will outweigh the interests of the individual. This means that employment might be terminated where there is a record of frequent short term absences, following a hearing at which the employee will have with the right to representation and a right to appeal the outcome.

EXPLANATION OF TERMS USED

ST.3 What is the Short Term Procedure?

ST3.1 The Short Term Procedure is the abbreviated term for the Short Term Attendance Management Procedure, used to describe the procedure for managing all short term sickness absences. These are sickness absences of between 1 and 28 calendar days’ (4 weeks) duration.

ST3.2 Sickness absences in excess of 4 weeks’ continuous duration will be managed under the Long Term Attendance Management Procedure (see below).

ST3.3 The Short Term Procedure comprises four key stages:  Stage One: Return to Work Interview – all employees

 Stage Two: Return to Work Trigger Meeting (abbreviated to Stage 2 meeting)  Stage Three: Return to Work Trigger Meeting (abbreviated to Stage 3 meeting)  Stage Four: Return to Work Trigger Meeting (abbreviated to Stage 4 meeting)

ST.4 What is meant by the term “triggering”?

ST.4.1. This term refers to those individual employees who breach the benchmark figures set across the Council for the number of absence days taken in a specified period and/or the duration of the absence. The current benchmarks are:

 three separate absences in a 6 month period (referred to as the 3:6 rule) on a rolling 6 month basis

 one occasion of 8 working days or more continual absence

ST.4.2 The 3:6 rule applies in all cases, irrespective of the nature of illness (including DDA conditions) or duration of individual periods of absence.

Note: special consideration will need to be given to term time only patterns of work and

the 3:6 rule.

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ST.5 What are trigger reports?

ST.5.1 The Personnel and Training Team (PAT) issue trigger reports to managers notifying them of any staff that have triggered in accordance with the definition above. For managers participating in the FirstCare Pilot a trigger report is sent automatically when an employee meets a trigger point.

ST.6 What is meant by “cause for concern”?

ST.6.1 When reviewing any sickness absence with an employee under any stage of the Short Term Procedure, including Stage 1, the manager should be asking him/herself:

“am I concerned at the level and/or frequency of sickness absence this employee has taken?”

ST.6.2. Solely in the context of the Council’s Attendance Management Policy (see above, Paragraph 9.1) any sickness absence, even for legitimate reasons will, initially, give cause for concern because it will result in an attendance record of less than 100% and may also be indicative of underlying issues concerning the employee’s health, or their safety and well being at work.

ST.6.3 The framework provided by the Short Term Procedure gives managers and employees an opportunity to explore the reasons for the sickness absence and for the manager to exercise their judgement and common sense about whether, in the light of these discussions, there is actual cause for concern, and if so the degree or level of that concern, taking into account a range of factors, including:

 County Council and departmental annual target figures for sickness absence  The employee’s individual employment history and attendance record, including

the pattern and frequency of previous absences and number of days lost.  The nature and circumstances of the particular sickness absence under

discussion

 Any disability issues covered under the Equality Act that are likely to lead to an increased absence rate and/or above average or expected length of absence  Any advice received from the Occupational Health Team in relation to the

employee’s reason for sickness absence or, in the absence of such advice consider whether a referral would be helpful

 External influences on attendance levels e.g. a pandemic

 The nature of the employee’s working environment and whether it may be a contributory factor or influence

ST.7 What is a strategy for attendance improvement?

ST.7.1 A strategy for attendance improvement will normally be developed by the manager and the employee at Stage 2 of the Short Term Procedure, as an alternative to issuing a formal letter recording cause for concern.

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ST.7.3 Managers have discretion to implement this option where there are mitigating circumstances (see Para. ST.6.3 above), that should be taken into consideration when managing the frequency and pattern of the employee’s absences.

ST.7.4 There is no right of appeal where this discretionary option for managing sickness absence under the Short Term Procedure is implemented. If a strategy for attendance improvement cannot be agreed with the employee and a Personal Plan developed accordingly, the line manager will revert to managing the employee’s attendance under the formal Short Term Procedure, Stages 2-4 inclusive, and the employee will have the right to appeal any Attendance Improvement Notices issued, in accordance with the provisions of that Procedure.

ST.7.5 In exceptional and specific circumstances, a strategy for improvement may be adopted at the later formal stages (Stage 3 or Stage 4) of the Short Term Procedure – see Section ST.15 below.

ST.8 What is a Personal Attendance Support Plan?

ST.8.1 A Personal Attendance Support Plan (hereafter referred to as a Personal Plan) will set out the strategy for attendance improvement and will include:

 the key points of discussion at the trigger meeting including a review of the employee’s workload and/or the relationship with colleagues or line managers if considered relevant to the level of absence occurring

 confirmation that the absence gives cause for concern  the reasons for the manager’s conclusions

 the actions agreed by both parties to improve attendance, for example, the line manager may seek advice from the Occupational Health Team, or the employee may agree to seek further advice from their GP or request the ability to work more flexibly

 the circumstances which will trigger a further review of the employee’s attendance record, for example, a specified attendance expectation (personal trigger points) over the next 12 months or, in the case of employees protected by the Equality Act, an individual attendance expectation based on advice from Occupational Health and/or

 an agreed review period, which may be either an agreed fixed term period, or an on-going review cycle, as appropriate, subject to a minimum review of one in every 6 months.

ST.9 What is an Attendance Improvement Notice?

ST.9.1 An Attendance Improvement Notice, Second Attendance Improvement Notice and Final Attendance Improvement Notice are formal written accounts, using a standard template, informing the employee of their attendance expectations during the next 12 months. The standard templates can be found on the Intranet in the

Attendance Management Toolkit.

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ST.9.3 An Attendance Improvement Notice may be issued following a Stage 3 meeting. ST.9.4 A Second Attendance Improvement Notice or a Final Attendance Improvement Notice may be issued following a Stage 4 meeting.

THE STAGES OF THE SHORT TERM PROCEDURE ST.10 Stage One – Return to Work Interview

ST.10.1 Most attendance management cases are unlikely to progress beyond Stage One, which applies to all employees (except those in their probationary period – see Para. 3.3 above) on each occasion when they have been absent from work due to illness for one day or more.

ST.10.2 The line manager meets with the employee on their return to work, following any period of short-term sickness absence (see definition in ST.3.1 above) regardless of the duration or nature of the employee’s absence. This would normally be a short, informal and private meeting using the following format:

 acknowledge that absence has taken place

 review the absence record - consider discussing number of days lost, patterns, frequency and possible implications with employee if previous absence(s) is/are identified

 enquire sympathetically about the illness and whether GP assistance was sought - if so will further appointments be required in the future

 discuss what support the employee may need to ease the process of return including any reasonable adjustments

 provide an update on work issues and the cover arrangements put in place  ensure the absence has been properly recorded on ‘notification of absence from

duty’ forms for recording purposes and sent to the Personnel Support Unit, unless the absence was reported to FirstCare under the Pilot Scheme.

 Record the details of the discussion on the Short Term Attendance Management Activity Log for Managers and retain on the employee’s supervision file.

See: Managing Sickness and Attendance for the Activity Log for Managers document. Note: for subsequent stages of the procedure the Activity Log for Managers will continue to be used to record discussions where a Personal Attendance Support Plan is not appropriate.

ST.10.3 As managers are not always able to physically meet staff every day (due to different work bases), a telephone conversation may be substituted for a face to face meeting. What is important is that the Return to Work meeting is held as soon as possible following the employee’s return to work and preferably on their first day back.

ST.11 Stages Two, Three and Four of the Short Term Procedure – General Principles

Recording Cause for Concern

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ST.11.2 If, under Stage 2, the sickness absence record does not give the manager cause for concern, in addition to giving reasons for this (for example, a previous exemplary attendance record or a “one off” short term condition that is likely to be resolved), the manager should nevertheless consider specifying the circumstances in which concern may arise in the future should full attendance not be regained and/or maintained.

ST.11.3 In recording a cause for concern, managers should also state the level of their concern and any factors or information which may have mitigated this (see list of examples in section ST.6 above) and the impact on service delivery and work colleagues.

ST.11.4 Copies of all correspondence, the Personal Plan and/or formal Attendance Improvement Notices recording concern about attendance should be placed on both the employee’s departmental/school supervision file and also on their personal file held by PAT.

Right of Appeal

ST.11.5 If the manager decides to issue an Attendance Improvement Notice, Second Attendance Improvement Notice or Final Attendance Improvement Notice, despite a request by the employee not to do so, the employee may appeal against the decision. ST.11.6 Any appeal must be made in writing by the employee to the manager, within

five working days from the date the Attendance Improvement Notice, Second

Attendance Improvement Notice or Final Attendance Improvement Notice was received by the employee.

ST.11. 7 The appeal will be heard by a different manager (senior to or at the same level) as the manager making the decision against which the employee is appealing. In schools, where the Headteacher has already been involved, the appeal will be heard by a panel of governors. (See Appendix A: The Appeal Process).

ST.11.8 Support for managers/governors hearing appeals will be available from the Personnel and Training Attendance Management Team. However, the line manager/school will take responsibility for putting all the necessary arrangements in place for the appeal hearing.

Right to Representation

ST.11.9 The employee has a right to formal representation by a Trade Union official or to be accompanied by a current work colleague at a Stage 4 meeting. Managers will be advised by a Personnel Officer at Stage 4 meetings.

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ST.12 Stage Two – Return to Work Trigger Meeting

ST.12.1 Where matters do progress beyond Stage1, the employee will either have developed a pattern of sickness absence that has triggered a notification to the line manager under the Short Term Procedure, or that otherwise causes the manager concern.

 Either on receipt of the trigger report, where an employee had been absent due to sickness on:

 three occasions during the previous 6 months on a rolling basis (the 3:6 rule) and/or

 one occasion of 8 or more working days continual absence,

 or where an employee has a record of frequent short term sickness absence that may not have triggered for either of the above reasons, but might otherwise be a cause for concern,

ST. 12.2 The manager should arrange a Stage 2 meeting as soon as the employee returns to work, in all cases, regardless of the sickness absence reason and including conditions covered by the Equality Act.

ST.12.3 In all circumstances, issues will be dealt with fairly by the manager at the Stage 2 meeting, giving the employee an opportunity to make representations and to be proactive and constructive in seeking to resolve the problem.

ST.12.4 There should be no exemptions from the Short Term Procedure, but in considering the appropriate action to be taken, managers should exercise their judgement and discretion in each case.

ST.12.5 In doing so, it is important for managers to demonstrate fairness and consistency in their approach at all times, in the application of the Short Term Procedure to the circumstances of individual employees. For this reason managers are required to clearly record their decisions in writing (see ST.11.1-4 inc. above).

ST.12.6 The degree of a manager’s concern, coupled with the extent of any mitigating factors, will determine the robustness of their management approach to improving attendance and, accordingly the route chosen to progress the Short Term Procedure, especially at Stage 2 (see Flow Chart for Short Term Procedure above).

ST.12.7 As well as considering the employee’s individual circumstances and any mitigating factors, the manager should consider, discuss and record the impact the employee’s absence(s) is/are having on service delivery and work colleagues.

ST.12.8 The Stage 2 meeting should be conducted in person, face to face, and will cover the same issues as a Stage One return to work interview (see Section ST.10 above).

ST.12.9 In addition, the line manager will:

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 consider whether a referral to the Occupational Health Team for advice is appropriate in the circumstances, before recording the outcome of the meeting. See: Health enquiries and referrals for the Health Enquiry Referral Form document.

ST.12.10 Where a Health Enquiry Referral is considered by the manager to be relevant and appropriate on the basis of the Stage 2 discussions with the employee (normally where the discussion has revealed the possibility of disability issues covered by the Equality Act or a chronic medical condition that may have an adverse effect on attendance levels), the Stage 2 meeting will be adjourned until the Occupational Health advice is available, and then re-convened before recording the outcome (see ST.11.12 below).

ST.12.11 If the fact finding discussion at the Stage 2 meeting does not identify underlying issues that may be adversely affecting the employee’s attendance levels, the manager will conclude the meeting and will issue a letter confirming the outcome of the meeting accordingly (a standard template is available from the Attendance Management Team in Personnel and Training):

 recording the key points of discussion at the Stage Two meeting and  confirming whether or not the absence gives cause for concern and  stating the reasons for the manager’s conclusions as well as

 stating the circumstances which will trigger a further review of the employee’s attendance record

ST.12.12 Where the manager considers that there is cause for concern and has adjourned the meeting to seek advice from the Occupational Health Team, he/she will re-convene the Stage 2 meeting, review the advice received with the employee and:

 either issue a letter confirming their concern (as above)

 or agree a strategy for attendance improvement with the employee, which will include the development of a Personal Plan in accordance with the principles set out in Appendix C, Para. 4.1, but to be managed under the Short Term

Procedure.

ST.12.13 A template for the Personal Plan can be down loaded from the Attendance Management Toolkit on the Intranet, See: Managing sickness and attendance.

ST.12.14 A copy of the agreed Personal Plan, or the letter confirming cause for concern (whichever is the outcome of the Stage 2 meeting), should be placed on the employee’s personal file and also on their departmental supervision file. A further copy should also be sent to the employee within 7 working days of the Stage 2 meeting.

ST.12.15 Where a strategy for attendance improvement has been agreed at Stage 2 of the Short Term Procedure, subsequent short term absences will be managed at Stage 2 under the Personal Plan, provided that:

 the absences relate to conditions or circumstances covered by the scope of the Personal Plan and/or

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ST.12.16 Where attendance levels continue to cause concern and are not improving after a reasonable period of time in accordance with the strategy for improvement agreed at Stage 2, or the attendance level can no longer be sustained in the context of the needs of the service, the manager may progress to Stage 3 of the Short Term Procedure and convene a Stage 3 meeting.

ST.13 Stage Three – Return to Work Trigger Meeting

ST.13.1 A Stage 3 meeting, in person, would apply automatically where an employee triggers for:

 a second time of three occasions during the previous 6 months on a rolling basis (the 3:6 rule) and/or

 a second occurrence of 8 or more working days’ continual absence ST.13.2 A Stage 3 meeting can also be convened by the manager when:

 a Stage 2 Personal Plan is not achieving the anticipated improvement in attendance within the period specified and/or the service can no longer sustain the level of absence being experienced and/or

 the manager has further concerns about frequent short term sickness absence and the absence pattern does not fall into any of the three trigger categories above ST.13.3 A Stage 3 meeting will cover the same issues as the Stage One return to work interview and the Stage 2 meeting and, in addition, the line manager will:

 inform the employee that the level of absence causes concern or further concern (if concern has already been expressed) and

 issue a written Attendance Improvement Notice to be held on record for 12 months.

ST.13.4 Prior to issuing the Attendance Improvement Notice, the manager may adjourn the meeting to seek a report, or further report (as applicable) from the Occupational Health Team and/or to seek advice from the PAT Attendance Management Team. ST.13.5 The employee should also be given an opportunity at the Stage 3 meeting to explain why an Attendance Improvement Notice should not be issued.

ST.13.6 The meeting will be reconvened when the report and/or further advice is available to enable the additional information to be discussed with the employee before deciding the outcome of the meeting. In exceptional and specific circumstances, it may be acceptable to agree a Personal Plan at Stage 3, as an alternative to issuing an Attendance Improvement Notice (see Section 15 below).

ST.13.7 The Attendance Improvement Notice will inform the employee:

 of the expectation of attendance during the next 12 months (normally 100%) and  that a Stage 4 meeting will apply if sickness absence levels reach trigger points

during the 12 month duration of the Notice and

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ST.13.8 Once issued to the employee, a copy of the Attendance Improvement Notice should be sent immediately to the relevant Personnel Officer, in order that it can be placed on the employee’s personal file. A copy should also be placed on the employee’s supervision file for ease of reference.

ST.13.9 Employees have the right of appeal against the decision of a manager to issue an Attendance Improvement Notice under Stage 3 (see Paras. ST.11.5-8 above).

ST.14 Stage Four - Return to Work Trigger Meeting

ST.14.1 A Stage 4 trigger meeting would apply automatically where an employee triggers for:

 a third time of three occasions during the previous 6 months (on a rolling basis) and/or

 a third time of one occasion of 8 or more working days continual absence.

 an Attendance Improvement Notice has been issued following a Stage 3 meeting and there has been a breach of the attendance expectations set at Stage 3. ST.14.2 A Stage 4 trigger meeting can also be convened by the manager when:  a Personal Plan was agreed at Stage 3 and is not achieving the anticipated

improvement in attendance within the period specified and/or the service can no longer sustain the level of absence being experienced and/or

 the manager has further concerns about frequent short term sickness absence and the absence pattern does not fall into any of the four trigger categories above

ST.14.3 In order to convene a Stage 4 meeting, the manager will need to give the employee five working days written notice of the meeting and inform them that they may be accompanied by a trade union representative or current work colleague. The manager will normally be accompanied by a Personnel Officer.

ST.14.4 Where an employee indicates that he/she is unable to attend a Stage 4 meeting because of ill health or other exceptional circumstances, the manager has the discretion to delay the meeting on one occasion for up to seven working days if that is likely to enable the employee to attend.

ST.14.5 A Stage 4 meeting will enable the manager to:

 review the absence history of the employee including pattern, frequency, number of days lost etc.

 consider, or re-consider, any report from the Occupational Health Team

 consider or re-consider any issues relating to disability as covered by the Equality Act

 consider or re-consider any issues involving industrial injury

 consider or re-consider any issues relating to stress, taking into account the Council’s policies on Stress Management

 take into account any other factors which may have adversely affected the

employee’s attendance record since the Stage 3 meeting e.g. a current pandemic, or particular health issues relating to their working environment

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ST.14.6 Having considered carefully all of the factors above, the manager may decide on one of four courses of action:

I. confirm, or reconfirm, attendance expectations and issue a Second Attendance Improvement Notice to be on record for 12 months. If any concerns arise during that period a further Stage 4 meeting to be convened; or

II. confirm, or reconfirm, attendance expectations and issue a Final Attendance Improvement Notice to be on record for two years. If any concerns arise during that period a further Stage 4 meeting to be convened; or

III. refer the case to a hearing to consider a recommendation to terminate employment (see Appendix B for the conduct of the hearing ); or

IV. in very exceptional circumstances develop a Personal Plan (see below).

ST.15 Are there any circumstances at a Stage 3 or Stage 4 meeting when a manager may decide not to issue an Attendance Improvement Notice?

ST.15.1 At the Stage 3 or Stage 4 meeting, the employee should always be given an opportunity to explain why an Attendance Improvement Notice, Second Attendance Improvement Notice or Final Attendance Improvement Notice should not be issued. ST.15.2 Reasonable grounds for mitigation might include:

 being covered by definitions of disability as set out in the Equality Act, or  an unreasonable workload or

 bullying at work

as being the main factor(s) contributing to the employee’s absence.

ST.15.3 However, these issues should normally have been explored thoroughly earlier in the Short Term Procedure at Stage 2 and, if appropriate, managed using the strategy for attendance improvement and a Personal Plan.

ST.15.4 Therefore any request for mitigation on these grounds at Stages 3 or 4 of the Short Term Procedure should be considered carefully by the manager taking into account:

 any previous and current reports from Occupational Health and

 careful consideration of the reasons given by the employee for not raising relevant mitigating factors previously, under earlier stages of the Short Term Procedure.

ST.15.5 Where the manager is satisfied that:

 the employee is raising relevant new issues that could not reasonably have been known or disclosed at earlier stages of the procedure AND

 a strategy for improvement and a Personal Plan have not been discussed, developed and used in earlier stages of the Short Term Procedure, AND

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ST.15.6 Where the manager opts to do this, in the exceptional circumstances specified above, the employee will be expected to contribute constructively to the development of the strategy for improvement and will have no right of appeal against the manager’s decision to adopt this optional course of action.

ST.15.7 If the employee will not, or cannot, agree a strategy for improvement and a Personal Plan with their line manager at either Stage 3 or Stage 4, where this option is offered to them, the manager must issue an Attendance Improvement Notice or Second or Final Attendance Improvement Notice, as appropriate. The employee may then exercise their right of appeal under the Short Term Procedure.

ST.15.8 Where a Personal Plan is developed at either Stage 3, or Stage 4, it will always specify a fixed term time limit for the improvement in attendance, which will not exceed 6 months. There will be no option for an ongoing review period.

ST.15.9 Where a strategy for improvement and a Personal Plan is implemented at Stage 3, and the required attendance improvement is not achieved, the manager will have the discretion to move to Stage 4 of the Short Term Procedure and, after hearing the employee’s representations, serve a Second or Final Attendance Improvement Notice if considered appropriate.

ST.15.10 Similarly, where a strategy for improvement and a Personal Plan is implemented at Stage 4 and the required attendance improvement is not achieved, the manager will have the discretion to hear the employee’s representations at a further Stage 4 meeting and to issue a Final Attendance Improvement Notice, if considered appropriate, without first issuing a Second Attendance Improvement Notice.

ST.15.11 The employee will have the right to appeal the issue of an Attendance Improvement Notice, Second or Final Attendance Improvement Notice issued in these circumstances, in the normal way.

ST.16 What happens if an employee who is currently being managed under Stages 2- 4 of the Short Term Procedure commences a period of long term sickness absence?

ST.16.1 Where an employee’s short term absence becomes a long term absence (defined as a continuous period of sickness absence of 4 calendar weeks or more):

 during a period when they are being managed under Stages 2, 3 or 4 of the Short Term Procedure and

 a Personal Plan has already been developed under the Short Term Procedure, then management of the long term sickness absence may commence at either Phase 2, or Phase 3, of the Long Term Procedure as deemed appropriate by the manager in the particular circumstances of the case. (See the Long Term Attendance Management Procedure below).

OR

 if a Personal Plan has not been developed under the Short Term Procedure at the point when the absence becomes long term and

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then, the Long Term Procedure will commence at Phase 1, and a Personal Plan will be developed accordingly.

OR

 if a Personal Plan has not been developed under the Short Term Procedure at the point the absence becomes long term and

 the Short Term Procedure is at Stage 4

then, the Long Term Procedure will commence at Phase 3 without exception. In these circumstances the most likely outcome will be a hearing to consider the employee’s continued employment.

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INTRODUCTION TO MANAGING LONG TERM SICKNESS ABSENCE

LT.1 General Principles………. 25

LT.2 Annual Leave accrual during long term sickness absence………. 25

LT.3 What are the responsibilities of the manager and the employee during a long term sickness absence?... 26

LT.4 What other Council policies, guidance and information might be relevant to managing long term sickness absence?... 27

LT.5 What is the definition of a long term sickness absence?... 29

LT.6 What is the Long Term Attendance Management Procedure?... 29

LT.7 What is an Attendance Management Meeting?... 29

LT.8 What is a Personal Attendance Support Plan?... 29

LT.9 Right to Representation……… 30

LT.10 Phase 1: Initial Attendance Management Meeting……… 30

LT.11 Phase 2: Interim Attendance Management Meetings………... 30

LT.12 Phase 3: Final Attendance Management Meeting……… 31

LT.13 Phase 4: Return to Work……… 33

LT.14 What happens if the Return to Work Plan is not successful or cannot be signed off within 12 calendar weeks?... 34

LT.15 What happens if the employee has a further sickness absence following their Return to Work?... 35

LT.1 General Principles

LT.1.1 In cases of prolonged or long term sickness, it will not always be possible to resolve the situation through improvement in the employee’s absence record: ill health retirement or termination of contract may have to be considered.

LT.1.2 However, it is recognised that it is important that the principles of good practice apply to ensure the situation is handled sensitively and in a fair, consistent and compassionate way.

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LT.2.1. When managing long term sickness absence, managers should be aware that paid annual leave entitlement continues to accrue and, for an employee who has not had an opportunity to take their annual leave allowance within the leave year, because of long term sickness absence, the carry forward provisions will be different to those set out in the Annual Leave Policy.

LT.2.2 Where annual leave accrues in this way, managers should seek advice from the Attendance Management Team Personnel Officer advising them on the Long Term Procedure.

LT.2.3 Where a long term sickness absence gives rise to a termination of employment, employees will be entitled to a payment in lieu of any statutory annual leave allowance that has accrued up to the date of termination and which has not been taken due to absence on long term sickness.

LT.2.4 The treatment of annual leave accrual during long term sickness absence will be handled differently for term time only staff. For advice on how these provisions apply to employees on term time only contracts, please consult your departmental Personnel Officer in the Attendance Management Team in the first instance.

LT.3 What are the responsibilities of the manager and the employee during a long term sickness absence?

LT.3.1 Both the manager and the employee must maintain regular, informal contact (at least fortnightly) from the date the sickness absence commences and agree a mutually acceptable means of keeping in touch throughout the employee’s absence from work,

in addition to the formal Attendance Management Meeting process set out in the next

section.

LT.3.2 The employee has responsibility for:

 informing their line manager immediately if there is any change in their medical condition and/or information relevant to the management of their absence from work and Personal Attendance Support Plan

 attending, wherever possible, and participating constructively in Phase 1, 2 and 3 Attendance Management Meetings to facilitate their earliest possible return to work

 participating in Phase 4 Return to Work reviews where a return to work is agreed and

 providing clear and constructive feedback to their manager about the effectiveness or otherwise of the Return to Work arrangements

 attending the Phase 4 Final Review Meeting and signing off the Personal

Attendance Support Plan confirming they are satisfied with the arrangements put in place.

LT.3.3 The manager has responsibility for managing the absence in accordance with relevant Council policies and procedures, which will include:

 exercising fairness, consistency and understanding throughout the attendance management process

 maintaining confidentiality of all information relating to the employee’s ill health  accurately recording relevant information from informal contact with the

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Copy approved by Governance Committee: February 2011 Page 27 of 44  regularly reviewing the sickness absence using timely and informed Attendance

Management Meetings

 accurately recording the Attendance Management Meeting discussions,

conclusions and agreed actions on the Personal Attendance Support Plan (the Personal Plan), including the Return to Work section of the Personal Plan, and ensuring an up to date copy is kept on the employee’s personal file

 providing clear, accurate and timely copies of the latest version of the Personal Plan to the employee immediately following each Attendance Management Meeting

 ensuring that they hold a Return to Work meeting with the employee on their first day back at work or, if they are unavailable on that day, ensuring another,

properly briefed, manager meets with the employee and facilitates their return to work

 ensuring they hold a Phase 4 Final Review Meeting with the employee and formally sign off the Personal Plan. If it is not possible for both parties to sign off the Personal Plan, an alternative course of action in line with Phase 4 of the procedure can be followed

 recording any reasonable adjustments that are made under the Equality Act in accordance with the Council’s procedures and sending the record to Personnel and Training.

LT.4 What other Council policies, guidance and information might be relevant to managing long term sickness absence?

LT.4.1 In addition to the policies and other guidance listed in Section 7 above, managers should ensure that they are familiar with the following policies before considering alternatives to a return to work under Phase 2 of the Long Term Procedure:

 Managing Change Policy and Redeployment Policy from the Managing Change Suite of Policies

 Ill Health Retirement/Termination Policy

See: A-Z Employment Policies and Making Changes

LT.4.2 Managers are reminded of the necessity to consider the provisions of the Equality Act at each phase of sickness absence management (see Section 8 above). LT.4.3 Supporting guidance and information about Attendance Management is also available on the Intranet. See: Managing sickness and attendance.

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THE LONG TERM ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT PROCEDURE

Phase 1

Initial Attendance Management Mtg Develop Personal Attendance

Support Plan

Phase 2

Interim Attendance Management Mtg(s) Minimum of 1 in 1st 26 weeks of absence Commence medical redeployment

by week 20

Phase 3

Final Attendance Management Mtg

Phase 4

Return to work including: •Medical redeployment •Return to work meetings •Final review meeting •Sign off plan

24 month period to reopen and review plan if further related absences

cause concern (re-open at Phase 3)

If final review and sign off cannot be achieved Timeline Not later than week 6 Not later than week 26 Not later than week 32 Max 12 weeks

Manage under other policies and procedures as

appropriate: •Ill health retirement •Hearing to consider continuation of employment with Right of Appeal.

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EXPLANATION OF TERMS USED

LT.5 What is the definition of a long term sickness absence?

LT.5.1 Any employee absent from work for a consecutive period of 4 calendar weeks or more will be regarded as having a long term sickness absence and it will be necessary for the line manager to seek a report from the Occupational Health Physician (contact your Personnel Officer in the Advisory Team for guidance on how to request this).

LT.6 What is the Long Term Attendance Management Procedure?

LT.6.1 The Long Term Attendance Management Procedure (abbreviated to the Long Term Procedure) comprises four different management phases linked to the date the sickness absence commenced and the development and review of a Personal Attendance Support Plan (abbreviated throughout to Personal Plan).

LT.6.2 The Long Term Procedure has been designed to allow managers to:  respond flexibly to the nature of the employee’s illness and their individual

circumstances, within

 clear timescales that ensure regular, timely, informed and thorough reviews of the absence take place and with a

 clear plan for minimising the absence and enabling the employee to return to work safely, with appropriate support, at the earliest opportunity.

LT.6.3 The four management phases and their purpose are set out in summary below and shown diagrammatically in the flow chart above. Further detailed guidance for managing each phase is set out in Appendix C.

LT.7 What is an Attendance Management Meeting?

LT.7.1 An Attendance Management Meeting is a formal meeting convened under Phases 1-3 inclusive of the Long Term Procedure to review and assess information, advice and circumstances relating to the employee’s long term sickness absence. The purpose of each meeting will vary according to which management phase the Long Term Procedure has reached and further details about this are set out in the Phases of the Long Term Procedure below.

LT.8 What is a Personal Attendance Support Plan?

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THE PHASES OF THE LONG TERM PROCEDURE LT.9 Right to Representation

LT.9.1 A manager has the right to be accompanied by a Personnel Officer and the employee has the right to be accompanied by a Trade Union representative or current work colleague at Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the Attendance Management Procedure.

Further guidance about representation is contained in Appendix C.

LT.9.2 Representation is optional for the Final Return to Work Review meeting in Phase 4 of the procedure. See Section 13 for further information about Phase 4 Return to Work meetings.

LT.10 Phase 1: Initial Attendance Management Meeting

LT.10.1 The Initial Attendance Management Meeting is a formal meeting between the line manager and the employee to be held after 4 calendar weeks of continuous absence, but no later than the end of Week 6.

LT.10.2 Where a long term sickness absence is planned e.g. hospital admission for planned surgery, the Initial Attendance Management Meeting can be held, and a Personal Plan be developed, before the long term absence commences.

LT.10.3 The purpose of the Phase 1 Initial Attendance Management Meeting is to gather and agree all relevant information concerning the employee’s absence, in order to develop a Personal Plan tailored to the particular circumstances of the case, which:

 states the known facts relevant to the absence and its future management (see

Appendix C for further guidance on the information to be considered for

inclusion)

 sets out any further information required e.g. advice from Occupational Health Team

 sets out a strategy for the future management of the case and any interim case reviews with clear timescales (see Phase 2) or

 starts to plan for the employee’s return to work, if this is imminent, with clear timescales (see Phase 3) and

 confirms the arrangements for regular, informal contact between the manager and employee during the course of the sickness absence (see Para. LT.3.1 above)

LT.11 Phase 2: Interim Attendance Management Meetings

LT.11.1 When the case is formally reviewed at the Phase 1 Attendance Management Meeting and a return to work is not considered imminent, a date should be set for a formal Interim Attendance Management Meeting to occur under Phase 2. This should take place at a reasonable interval from the Phase 1 meeting, taking into account all the circumstances and facts of the case.

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either (a) set a suitable date for a further Interim Attendance Management Meeting

under Phase 2

or (b) arrange a suitable date for a Phase 3 Final Attendance Management Meeting,

which will:

 plan for a return to work, including the finalisation of any medical redeployment if appropriate or

 an alternative course of action, when a return to work is unlikely to occur

LT.11.3 The number of, and interval between, Phase 2 Interim Attendance Management Meetings will vary for each employee depending on the facts and circumstances of their case. For complex medical cases and/or where the sickness absence is likely to be prolonged it is envisaged that more than one Phase 2 Attendance Management Meeting will be necessary.

LT.11.4 In all cases, if a return to work is not anticipated within four weeks of the Initial Attendance Management Meeting, the line manager should arrange at least one formal Interim Attendance Management Meeting to take place between the end of the 10th calendar week and not later than the 26th calendar week from the commencement of the absence.

Note: medical redeployment

LT.11.5 Opportunities for medical redeployment will be more limited in schools.

LT.11.6 Managers should note that, where medical redeployment is recommended by the Occupational Health Team, an employee needs to be on the redeployment register by the 20th calendar week of their absence. (This enables 6 weeks of redeployment search under Phase 2 of the procedure and up to 6 weeks of redeployment search under Phase 3 of the procedure). Therefore where medical redeployment is

recommended, managers should ensure that a Phase 2 Interim Attendance Management Meeting is held not later than the end of the 20th calendar week from commencement of the absence.

LT.12 Phase 3: Final Attendance Management Meeting

LT.12.1 The procedure moves to Phase 3 when:  either a return to work is imminent

 or it becomes clear from regularly reviewing the employee’s absence in the Phase 2 Interim Attendance Management Meetings that a return to work is unlikely to be achieved either at all, or within a timescale that reasonably meets the needs of the service.

LT.12.2 The purpose of the Phase 3 Final Attendance Management Meeting is to review the Personal Plan and:

Figure

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References

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Related subjects :