LACK OF CAPABILITY THROUGH ILL HEALTH POLICY

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1 LACK OF CAPABILITY THROUGH ILL HEALTH POLICY This policy was adopted/updated: September 2012 This policy will be reviewed: September 2014 Statutory?: No Source: LA

2 HAMPTON WICK INFANT AND NURSERY SCHOOL PROCEDURE FOR DEALING WITH LACK OF CAPABILITY THROUGH ILL HEALTH Set out below is a procedural statement of the formal stages of the School s absence control arrangements. NB: If the procedure is applied in the case of a headteacher all following references to headteacher must be replace with Chair of the Governing Body. These steps regulate the relationship between the School and its employees in the circumstances indicated and define the powers of the headteacher, respective officers and Governors who may be involved in the process. The procedure is designed on the basis that dismissal is not a foregone conclusion. However, in processing each case full consideration must be given to the effect that absence has on service provision and colleagues who are left to carry the burden of additional work. It may be necessary to consider action under these stages when:- (i) (ii) there is a long term illness, or where an illness if expected to be long term. This type of absence is normally certified by doctor s statements and is defined as an absence lasting or expected to last three continuous months or more, or an employee is persistently absent on a short term basis. This type of absence is usually characterised as frequent, persistent short term absence which may or may not be certified by a doctor s statement. Procedures for dealing with absence through sickness will be operated to take full account of an employee s welfare interests. It is essential to this process that employee interviews are conducted with the utmost care and consideration for the employees concerned and they must be given appropriate information to be able to fully appreciate the importance of such interviews. The school wishes to positively discharge it s responsibility in respect of the Disability Discrimination Act Employees will not receive less favourable treatment because of a disability except where this is justified within the meaning of the Act and cannot be avoided. Consideration will be given to the provision for reasonable adjustment as specified by the Act in terms of an individuals particular needs at work. (This may be a review of a reasonable adjustment made previously or consideration of a new set of circumstances). The interviews must be carried out with a view to soliciting sufficient relevant information to be able to reach fair decisions whilst applying Equal Opportunities principles throughout the process. Where appropriate the possibility of redeployment to a post where the particular health condition would not impact on capability should be explored. Ill Health Policy Page 1 of 4

3 In some circumstances it will be necessary to operate this procedure in conjunction with the performance capability/disciplinary procedure. LONG TERM ABSENCE 1. Where an employee is absent through sickness he/she will be required to confirm with the usual arrangements of the School and submit doctor s statements. The Headteacher or appropriate manage/supervisor will ensure that this requirement is met. 2. Employees who are absent for a period of six or more consecutive weeks will be referred by the school to the Council s Occupational Health Doctor for a pre-return to work health clearance unless 3 below applies. (In emergency circumstances a teacher may be suspended from duty. This may arise when the teacher is suffering from a medical condition which could adversely affect the health, education and welfare of pupils in his/her care. In such situations urgent advise much be sought from the Occupational Health Doctor). 3. As soon as possible nut no later than three months after continuous absence has occurred or is expected to occur the matter will be referred to the Council s Occupational Health Doctor for advise. The Headteacher or appropriate manager/supervisor will consult the the Principal Personnel Office (Health Liaison - who will co-ordinate referrals etc. At this stage employees will be asked to give their consent to the Occupational Health Doctor to authorise him/her to seek previous medical history and current medical information. In normal circumstances the Occupational Health Doctor will then make a judgement based on the information received and the subsequent medical interview. However, in exceptional circumstances an employee may be required to submit to a medical examination by the Occupational Health Doctor and in respect of teaching staff the employee may request the present of their own medical adviser (DFE Circular 13/93). 4. The Council s Occupational Health Doctor will provide written advice as soon as possible but no later than three months from the referral including:- (i) (ii) long term prognosis: and an indication of when or whether the employee may be able to return to work. In some circumstances the doctor may only be able to provide a preliminary report. 5.(i) The employee s Headteacher or other appropriate manager will maintain close monitoring and regular communication with the employee through absences. Where appropriate, and in any event upon receipt of the doctor s advice, will consult the employee and:- (a) (b) advise them of the position reached; and seek the employee s view of their health in relation to their work. Ill Health Policy Page 2 of 4

4 At these interviews the Headteacher must be accompanied. Account must be taken of the gender of the employee, ie: it would not be appropriate for two males to interview a female employee. (iii) A written record must be taken of this discussion which will be confirmed with the employee as being accurate and then will be considered further b the Headteacher. Where the Headteacher considers that dismissal may be an appropriate resolution he/she should consult with the Head of Personnel and Management Services or representative who will arrange for the Principal Personnel Officer (Health Liaison) and the employee s Headteacher to further consult with the employee who must be advised that dismissal is an option and that the matter will be considered at a meeting in accordance with 6 below. A written record must be made of the discussion between the Principal Personnel Officer (Health Liaison), the Headteacher and the employee which will be confirmed as an accurate record. Not less than seven days notice of the meeting must be given to the employee and he/she must be invited to attend together with a person of his/her choice (who may be a trade union representative) or make a submission in writing if he/she so wishes. (Where action involving possible dismissal would confirm the requirements of the Superannuation Scheme in respect of a pensionable employee he/she will be advised of the estimated benefits). 6. Committee of three Governors accompanied by representatives of the Director of Education and the Head of Personnel and Management Services will consider reports from the Headteacher, Principal Personnel Officer (Health Liaison) together with details of any information supplied by the employee under 5(ii) above; the Council s Occupational Health Doctor and relevant details of the employee s work history. They shall determine whether dismissal or other action is appropriate. A note of the meeting will be taken and the employee will be notified in writing by the Head of Personnel and Management Services or representative of the decisions. If it is determined that dismissal from the service of the School is an appropriate option the letter informing the employee of the decision shall preferable be delivered by hand or if this is not possible/appropriate sent first class post (recorded delivered) to the employee s home address. The reason for the decision must be given and details of how to appeal again the decision should be included. No action to formally terminate the services of the employee shall be taken until (1) the expiry of the period in which to enter an appeal and no appeal is entered; or (ii) an appeal is heard and dismissed. Ill Health Policy Page 3 of 4

5 FREQUENT PERSISTENT SHORT TERM ABSENCE 1. The Absence Management Procedures for dealing with frequent short-term absence will apply and will include:- a. Return to work interviews, conducted by the Headteacher or appropriate manager. b. Close monitoring and regular communication by the Headteacher or appropriate manager when absences occur. c. Written notification indicating that such absences are unacceptable and that if repeated may/will lead to dismissal. d. A recommendation to visit the GP for advise and treatment which may, in appropriate circumstances, be supported by a requirement that the employee provides a doctor s statement for each and every day of absence. 2. If the absences persist the matter will be referred to the Council s Occupational Health Doctor. The Occupational Health Doctor will provide written advice as soon as possible but no later than three months from the referral confirming whether or not the employee has an underlying chronic health problem which may result in further time off in the future. In some circumstances this advice may be preliminary. 3. Apply stage 5 of the Long Term Absence Procedure as above. 4. Apply stage 6 of the Long Term Absence Procedure as above. NB: The procedure set out above applies to all school employees and when it is used in respect of teaching staff it is designed to facilitate action deemed necessary to satisfy requirements of Regulation 9 of the Education (Teachers) Regulations 1993(SI 1993/543) and does not in any event preclude action being taken on the instructions of the Secretary of State in accordance with No.10 of the said regulations. Ill Health Policy Page 4 of 4

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