ABSENCE MANAGEMENT POLICY

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2 1. POLICY STATEMENT 1.1. FGH Security is committed to the well being of all employees FGH Security is committed to developing and maintaining a positive attendance culture. It recognises that poor attendance can have a detrimental effect on service delivery as well as placing undue pressure on other employees In order to support a high level of attendance FGH Security is committed to providing a safe and healthy working environment. We support this through a caring and sensitive approach to those who are absent through illness FGH Security is committed to applying all procedures in a fair and consistent manner. 2. AIMS 2.1. The aims of this policy are to: Maintain a positive attendance culture Maintain a high level of attendance Ensure compliance with legal obligations Support an individual back to work. 3. SCOPE AND ELIGIBILITY 3.1. All absences should be acknowledged by managers conducting a return to work discussion in private. The discussion may be face-to-face or where face-to-face is difficult initially by telephone followed by face-to-face discussion and should take place on the first day of return or as soon as possible thereafter The following principles will be observed in all cases where attendance falls below standards required: No employee will be dismissed for reasons of poor attendance (short term sickness absence) or on the grounds of capability (long-term sickness absence) without the appropriate stages being taken into account The application and operation of this procedure will be consistent with the Equality and Diversity policy. The impact of the Attendance Management Policy and Procedures will be monitored and reported to the Managing Director Where an employee is likely to be unable to return to work following long term sickness absence, consideration may be given to terminating the employment of the employee under the Attendance Management Policy Annual leave is accrued and can be taken during sickness absence. It should be booked in the normal way. Page 2 of 10

3 4. EQUALITY DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION 4.1. Within the Equality Act It remains permissible to treat a disabled person more favourably than a non-disabled person. It remains lawful to make reasonable adjustments in relation to employment, education and services to ensure that there is true equality of opportunity for disabled people. Therefore: Where a manager believes that an employee may be disabled within the meaning of the Act or may nonetheless need additional support, this must be considered before any action is taken Where an individual with a disability has reached the policy trigger points consideration will be given to the appropriateness of the trigger points in each individual case. 5. RECORDS MANAGEMENT 5.1. The records associated with this policy are controlled by the Human Resources Department and will be created, stored and disposed of in line with the company s records management procedures FGH Security is committed to complying with the requirements of Data Protection legislation and regulations and any personal data created as part of this policy will be processed in accordance with the company s Data Protection procedures. This includes ensuring that data is held securely, is not disclosed unlawfully and is destroyed when no longer needed FGH Security also aims to ensure that users of this policy are aware of Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Records Management issues associated with this policy. 6. RISK MANAGEMENT 6.1. Failure to comply with this policy could lead to breaches in employment legislation and may give rise to claims against FGH Security. 7. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES 7.1. It is the responsibility of employees to: Be aware of the company s attendance policy Comply with sickness reporting procedures Be aware of their attendance record Make efforts to maintain contact with their line manager during periods of absence Take responsibility for their own health and take steps to ensure fitness for work It is the responsibility of managers to: Understand and comply with the company s attendance policy and procedures Ensure that employees understand and comply with the attendance policy and procedures. Page 3 of 10

4 Ensure that sickness reporting procedures are complied with Conduct return to work discussions as required following return from sickness absence (including checking, where appropriate, that the GP has signed to confirm they are fit to return) Monitor the attendance levels of their own employees Liaise with individuals who are absent through long term sickness or who have persistent short term absence Recognise where employees may benefit from an assisted return to work Ensure support is given to encourage individuals back to work Support the wellbeing of their employees and ensure that working practices are not detrimental to such wellbeing It is the responsibility of the HR Manager to: Provide advice and support for Operational Managers on dealing with sickness absence Ensure the company s policy is widely available and understood Review and monitor the operation and effectiveness of the policy Ensure that attendance is a consideration in recruitment Maintain an up to date status of those who are long term sick Ensure compliance with legal obligations Obtain medical information and reports from an individual s GP or from a qualified Occupational Health Physician nominated by FGH Security Advise on return to work options following absence Attend disciplinary hearings regarding breaches of the policy It is the responsibility of the Managing Director to: Ensure that the Attendance Management Policy is adhered to throughout the company Review absence data and take appropriate action where required. 8. SICKNESS PAY ENTITLEMENT 8.1. Sickness pay will consist of statutory sick pay and will be awarded to all eligible employees in compliance with the company s legal obligations. Page 4 of 10

5 B. PROCEDURAL GUIDELINES The normal expectation is that the following procedural guidelines will apply. However, on occasions, and for exceptional / other good reasons, there may be the need to vary the procedures to suit individual cases, and accordingly FGH Security reserves the right to amend the procedures. 1. ENTITLEMENT TO SICK PAY 1.1. Employees entitlement to sick pay is referred to in their contract of employment. 2. PROCEDURE FOR REPORTING ABSENCE 2.1. The employee should give as much notice as is reasonably practicable of any expected absence The employee should give notice to their line manager by telephone Where the line manager cannot be contacted by telephone the control room or 24 hour contact number may be used by security officers In the highly unlikely event that this is not responded to then telephone contact with a member of the senior management team should be sought You must have contact with FGH Security management The employee should report any absence personally unless they are so incapacitated as to be unable to do so If unable to self report absence a responsible proxy may report absence on their behalf Absences reported on the same day as the shift will be considered late notice Absences reported less than 4 hours prior to a shift commencing will be considered emergency absences Absences reported after the start time of the shift will be considered failure to attend shift and will be dealt with under the disciplinary procedure. 3. MANAGING PERSISTENT SHORT TERM ABSENCE 3.1. FGH Security defines persistent short-term absence as intermittent absences normally attributable to minor and often unconnected ailments. Short-term absences do not normally extend beyond a week Minimising short-term absence is important since it is this type of unplanned absence that can cause the most disruption in the workplace It is recommended that line managers in appropriate cases consider early referral of an individual to the Human Resources Manager before taking any formal action where there appears to be an underlying cause of absence Unacceptable levels of short term absence: In order to ensure fairness and consistency throughout the company, all managers must investigate sickness absence. This will normally but not solely be where the levels reach 4 occasions or 12 working days (pro rata for part-time employees) sickness in a rolling period of 12 months. Page 5 of 10

6 Where short-term absence reaches 3 occasions or 10 working days (pro rata for part-time employees) in a rolling period of 12 months, the manager will speak with the employee informally and may refer to the Human Resources Manager where there appears to be an underlying cause of absence (if this has not previously happened) Where there is persistent short-term absence, ultimately dismissal may result as an outcome of the procedure outlined under Appendix 1 of the Attendance Management Policy. 4. INFORMAL ACTION FOR PERSISTENT SHORT TERM ABSENCE 4.1. In order to ensure fairness and consistency throughout the company, all managers must investigate sickness absence. FGH Security s formal procedures will normally apply where absence levels reach 4 occasions or 12 working days (pro rata for part time staff) in a rolling 12 month period. However, in order to promote a positive attendance culture, all managers should complete return to work interviews with employees as appropriate, to establish the reason for the absence and whether there are any underlying reasons for this absence. Before invoking formal action for persistent short-term absence, managers should ensure that informal discussions with employees have taken place. 5. FORMAL ACTION FOR PERSISTENT SHORT TERM ABSENCE 5.1. The procedure provides a sequential process for formal investigation, action and warning. Whilst warnings may initially seem incompatible with sickness absence, they are essential when the end result might be termination of employment The authority to take action under short-term sickness absence procedures lies with the employee s line manager for informal actions and with the Human Resources Manager for formal actions The Attendance Management Short Term Formal Stages is shown as Appendix APPEALS 6.1. All appeals must be submitted in writing, indicating the grounds of appeal. This should include, if appropriate, any new information not previously taken into account at the formal meeting hearing, and be lodged with the Human Resources Manager no later than 7 calendar days from the effective issue date of the warning. 7. MANAGING LONG TERM ABSENCE 7.1. FGH Security defines long term absence as: A continuous period of absence exceeding 4 weeks OR: Any other cumulative absences exceeding 4 weeks in total during a period of 12 months where long term absence procedures are appropriate. Page 6 of 10

7 7.2. The management of long-term absence requires a different approach to that of short-term absence. Whilst treating all employees in a sympathetic and supportive manner long-term absences can usually be traced to an underlying medical condition. Employees suffering from long-term absence will be treated in a sympathetic and supportive manner. The procedures aim to facilitate the return of employees to their work as early as is practical Procedure for Dealing With Long Term Absence Where an employee falls into the long-term absence procedures as specified above, the Human Resources Manager will normally review the circumstances with the employee s line manager and discuss an appropriate course of action. Part of this course of action will be to instigate review meetings between the line manager and the employee, normally at the following milestones: 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, 9 months and 12 months. During this meeting, the line manager will discuss any underlying causes of the absence, whether there are any work related factors, the likely length of absence and whether any reasonable adjustments or a phased return could be made to enable the employee to return to work. During the course of the meeting it will be necessary to state that FGH Security may consider termination of employment under the grounds of capability if the situation does not improve sufficiently. Formal written warnings of this should be issued or considered as appropriate, taking account of individual circumstances. The employee should be notified in writing of the discussion and outcome of the meeting, including any written warning Where ill health retirement is not deemed appropriate, dismissal on capability grounds may be considered where the advice is that the individual is unlikely to return within a reasonable amount of time and there are not reasonable adjustments that could be made to help the individual return to work. In addition, consideration will be given to capability matters relating to long term absence. In these circumstances, a hearing under Stage 3 of this policy will be heard by the Human Resources Manager. Dismissal under Stage 3 of this policy will not be considered unless a minimum of 2 supportive meetings have been held Where there is repeated long term absence, FGH Security reserves the right to issue a warning to the employee on their return to work and take further action in line with the formal stages of this policy as outlined in Assisted Return to Work Where consideration is given to an employee returning on an assisted basis from a period of absence (i.e. where they return on reduced hours or reduced duties for an agreed limited period), it is encouraged, where appropriate, and dependent on individual circumstances, to use accrued annual leave to support the assisted return to work Options for an Assisted Return to Work include reduced hours of duty, a limited work regime or temporary alternative duties If, at the review meeting, the individual wishes to consider redeployment to another role on a permanent basis, then this will be considered. If agreed, the individual will be paid at the rate for the new role, even where the new role is at a lower wage than their previous role. Page 7 of 10

8 7.6. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list of the possible options. Other reasonable adjustments may also be considered such as physical adjustments to the work place or an alternative pattern of work for example. 8. DOMESTIC RELATED ABSENCE 8.1. Sickness absence is strictly for employees who are genuinely sick. Where an employee needs to attend to an emergency situation, i.e. sick child or dependent relative, then the procedures relating to special leave or emergency leave (time off for dependants) should be applied Knowingly making a false declaration of sickness absence will result in disciplinary investigation. 9. MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS 9.1. If an appointment is not possible out of work hours then, as far as possible, such appointments should be taken at the beginning or the end of the working day in order to minimise disruption to work If time to attend such appointments is taken within normal working hours then this time must be made up as soon as possible Employees who need to attend ad hoc hospital appointments during their normal working hours will not be required to make up lost time providing the set procedure is observed. Line managers may require employees to make up lost time for such appointments if they believe that the above procedure has been abused. 10. SICKNESS ABSENCE DURING ANNUAL LEAVE Sickness whilst on annual leave should be reported in accordance with the sickness reporting procedures Annual leave lost as a result of an illness during a pre-recorded and approved period of annual leave may be credited on the production of a valid medical statement and providing that all other sickness reporting procedures have been adhered to. The absence will then be classified as sickness rather than annual leave. Without such a medical statement the absence will be classed as annual leave (rather than sick leave) irrespective of the illness If illness occurs on a bank or public holiday, no substitute bank or public holidays will be given even if a valid Statement of Fitness for Work is presented Accrued statutory annual leave, unused at the end of a leave year as a result of sickness absence and which has not been able to be taken during the leave year in which it was accrued, is able to be carried over to the new leave year. Page 8 of 10

9 Appendix 1 Attendance Management Short Term Formal and Informal Stages: Informal discussions by managers with individuals are encouraged throughout the process to assess the full circumstances of the absences and determine the requirement to move to any stage of the formal process or to amend the trigger points to account for disability related absence. Where a formal warning under Stages 1 to 3 is an outcome, or dismissal under Stage 3, the employee has the right of appeal (see 4.1 of Section B, Procedural Guidelines). Stages Meeting Meeting Content Possible Outcomes After each absence. After 3 absences. Informal discussion with Line Manager. Informal meeting with Line Manager. Discuss reason for absence, underlying cause, relevant medical information. As above, referral to HR. HR Intervention to support wellbeing. No further action. As above with warning that any further absence will result in formal procedures. Stage 1: After 4 absences. Formal meeting with HR Manager. Offered right to be accompanied. Attention drawn to pattern of absence. Improvement plan drawn up with targets and review dates. No formal action taken or Written Warning dependent on circumstances. Stage 2: Stage 3: Formal meeting with HR Manager. Offered right to be accompanied. If the required improvement has not been achieved a final formal interview will take place. A medical assessment should be sought prior to this meeting. A letter inviting the individual to attend a Formal Interview will be sent. The individual will be offered the right to be accompanied. The letter will state that a Attention drawn to improvements not being made or targets not being met. Improvement plan reviewed. Attention will be drawn to the continued unsatisfactory absence record of the individual. Relevant medical information will be considered. Any new information or changes to the medical information will be No formal action taken or Final Written Warning dependent on circumstances. A decision to dismiss. A second Final Written Warning. Redeployment No formal action taken. The decision to dismiss is subject to appeal in the Page 9 of 10

10 recommendation for dismissal could be the end result of the meeting. taken into account. same way as all dismissal decisions. Page 10 of 10

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