1 Sick Leave & Sick Pay Procedures for employees The key things that you need to know Your Entitlement: You are entitled to take sick leave if you are sick or injured and unable to attend work While you are Away: You should speak to your manager to tell them that you are sick as soon as is possible, and remain in contact for the period of your sickness. You must obtain permission from your line manager to carry out any outside occupation (including unpaid occupations and voluntary work) when you are on sick leave. Failure to do so may result in dismissal. Medical Evidence: You should self certify absences for up to seven calendar days. For absences of longer than seven calendar days you will need to obtain a Statement of Fitness for Work (Statement) from your GP. If a Med 10 certificate is issued because you were admitted to hospital, a Statement will be required on discharge. It can be issued by the hospital. If your GP refers you to an external Occupational Health provider, you may be issued with a Return to Work Plan. This is treated as medical evidence and you should forward this in the same way as you would do with a Fit Note. You should inform your GP that there is an Occupational Health service in place at work. Focussing on Work: You should explore with your manager whether basic help and support available from the Department could enable you to attend work, or undertake some of your duties, or return to work sooner. This might involve you and your manager developing a Back to Work Plan. This is not about trying to get you back to work before you are ready, but about removing the challenges to you returning. Sustaining an injury at work: You may be entitled to up to 6 months additional paid sick leave if you are injured at work. Third Party Claim If you are absent due to an accident in the UK sustained outside work, which may lead to a claim against a third party, advances of salary may be appropriate in these circumstances rather than paid sick leave - see paragraph 19 below When you Return: You should keep a record of your absence and on your return must attend a welcome back discussion, even for part day absences Unsatisfactory Attendance: If you are absent due to sickness for eight days or more (pro-rata for part time staff) or four spells, in any twelve month period your manager will talk to you formally. There are different arrangements for employees on probation. CSL: there are learning products available on CSL to support managers in handling sickness absence and attendance management action Your Entitlement 1. You qualify for sick leave if you are unable to work due to illness or injury.
2 2. Your sick pay entitlement will depend on when you commenced employment with DWP because a new sick pay scheme was introduced from 14 October If you were recruited and took up post in DWP on 13 October 2013 or earlier, you may receive full pay for the first 6 months of absence and half pay for a further 6 months subject to a maximum of 12 months paid sick leave in any four years period. You may be entitled to an extension of paid sick leave of up to 40 calendar days. If you were recruited and took up post in DWP on 14 October 2013 or later, you may receive up to 1 month s full pay and 1 month s half pay in your first year of employment. This limit will increase annually (i.e. to 2 months full pay and 2 months half pay in the second year, to 3 months full pay and 3 months half pay in the third year, etc.) up to an annual maximum of 5 month s full pay and 5 months half pay in the fifth year and subsequently, subject to a maximum of 10 months paid sick leave in any four year period. The unpaid absences from work listed below will not count as qualifying service, delaying any increases in your incremental sick pay limits. You may be entitled to an extension of paid sick leave of up to 40 calendar days. If you transferred into DWP from another part of Government, you will have access to whichever of the two schemes described above most closely matches the terms that applied before you transferred. Your previous record will transfer and be continued by DWP. 3. The following unpaid absences will be classified as non- qualifying service for the purpose of determining the next incremental increase in maximum entitlement under the post-14 October 2013 sick pay scheme: Special leave without pay days Unauthorised absence days Breaks in employment days Non-attendance days (e.g. contractual part year) Sick Leave at nil pay Career break or carer's leave Relevant unpaid absences recorded by previous Government departments. 4. When sick leave entitlement on full and half pay has been exhausted, further sick leave is unpaid. Employees who have two or more years' service may be entitled to sick pay at pension rate (SPPR). While you are away 5. If you are unable to work you should ensure that you speak to your manager as soon as possible and within the timescales set down for your office. If possible you should contact your manager yourself. If you cannot make contact yourself you should ensure that the quickest alternative means is used. Your manager will need to: Know the reason for your absence unless you have reasonable grounds not to tell them Identify what it is, specifically, that prevents you travelling to work, and/or which aspects of your duties/functions, specifically, you are unable to undertake
3 Explore if there are any temporary workplace adaptations that could be implemented to enable you to attend work or undertake your duties or adjusted duties Consider developing a Back to Work Plan to help you return to work Know whether there is any work that needs to be covered in your absence Know when you expect to be able to return to work Know how you propose to keep in contact. 6. Common sense should be used in determining whether it is appropriate to engage you fully at the first point of contact or whether it would be better to continue the conversation at a more convenient time. 7. For self certified absences you will be expected to call your manager on day one and discuss and agree keeping in touch arrangements (which could be daily if appropriate). For longer periods of absence and those covered by a Statement, you should agree the frequency of contact with your manager. 8. There will be regular contact during your absence. This may include visits to your home with your agreement or meeting at a suitable, agreed, alternative location. Medical Evidence 9. You should self certify any period of sickness absence for up to seven calendar days. 10. If your absence lasts for more than seven calendar days, you will be required to obtain a Statement from your GP. If you have been admitted to hospital this may be issued on your discharge. You should continue to provide a Statement until your absence ends. 11. The Statement allows your doctor to provide information and advice on your condition and give recommendations on how you might be able to return to work with basic help and support from the Department. The advice your doctor provides in the Statement will help facilitate a work-focussed discussion between you and your manager. 12. If your GP refers you to an external Occupational Health service, you may receive a Return to Work Plan. This is also treated as medical evidence. Focussing on Work 13. Your responsibility is to engage constructively with your manager in discussions about the reasons for your absence. 14. Your manager s responsibility is to be caring and supportive, and do all they reasonably can to facilitate practicable temporary workplace adaptations to enable you to attend work or undertake your duties or adjusted duties or return to work sooner than you might otherwise. This might involve them developing a Back to Work Plan with you. 15. Your manager will apply a work-focussed approach to managing your sickness absence. During the first week of absence this will be an informal discussion, if it is appropriate to do so in your individual circumstances. If your absence extends beyond seven calendar days
4 your manager must have a work focussed discussion with you. A work-focussed approach is one that: Respects your right to take sick leave, within the scope of the Sick Leave Policy, when you are unable to work due to illness or injury; Recognises that work is generally good for physical and mental health and wellbeing, and that many people with health conditions can, with basic support, work as they recover from their condition; Recognises that employees do not need to be fully fit to undertake work; Allows your manager to make temporary workplace adaptations so that you can work rather than take sick leave; Allows your manager to consider reasonable adjustments under the Reasonable Adjustments Policy if you have a disability or serious underlying medical condition; Makes use of the Statement and, where appropriate, Occupational Health advice to inform decisions about fitness for work. Allows your manager to develop a Back to Work Plan with you to help you return to work. 16. This approach is not about trying to get you back to work before you are ready, but about you working with your manager to remove the challenges to you returning. Sustaining an Injury at Work 17. If you are absent because of an injury sustained at work you may be awarded up to 6 months additional paid sick leave. All decisions about entitlement to Injury leave or benefits are made by My Civil Service Pensions 18. If you are absent due to an assault while on duty you will not suffer any loss of pay regardless of the length of absence. Third Party Claim 19. If you are absent from duty due to an accident in the UK sustained outside work, which may lead to a claim against a third party, you are not entitled to paid sick absence. Instead, advances of pay equal to your normal salary (less any Statutory Sick Pay due) are paid. The advances will be made for the same period and following the same pattern as if you were receiving sick pay entitlement. In these circumstances normal pay is defined as your salary as per your employment contract, hours and grade including any adjustment for sick leave taken. These advances must be repaid if the claim is successful. The absence is then not counted as sick absence but, your manager will still keep in touch, you may be referred to the Occupational Health Service and have a Back to Work Plan. You should notify your line manager in writing when you have sent a claim to Shared Services. If you do not notify your line manager in writing, your absence will be counted as sick absence and attendance management action will continue. You should provide your line manager with regular updates of how the claim is progressing during Keep in Touch conversations.
5 20. Accidents during sporting activities are not treated as third party claims. Claims to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board for compensation are not treated as third party claims, neither are claims to the Motor Insurance Bureau against uninsured drivers. Absences due to injury in an accident outside the UK will be treated as ordinary sick absence. When you return 21. When you return your manager will arrange a Welcome Back Discussion. 22. The reason for your absence will be recorded on your Attendance Management Plan (AMP) and RM. 23. If you returned to work under a short-term temporarily adapted working pattern (normally for no more than about a week- not PTMG) your manager will normally award you a flexi credit for the balance of the hours you did not work 24. If you have been absent due to a long or severe illness you may be able to return to work part-time on medical grounds (PTMG). You will be paid for the number of hours worked, and the balance of your conditioned hours will be paid at the appropriate sick pay rate. 25. If you have a Back to Work Plan this will be reviewed with your manager. Unsatisfactory Attendance 26. If you are absent due to sickness for eight days (pro-rata for part time staff), or four spells of absence, or more in any twelve months your manager will talk to you formally.