Sickness and injury absence policy

If you are absent from work because of sickness or injury, the conditions of the Statutory Sick Pay scheme will apply. In order to qualify for sick pay, you must follow the notification and certification procedure set out below.

Notification of absence
If you are unable to attend work for any reason whatsoever, you must personally contact Nigel Jones and inform him no later than 10 a.m. on the first day of absence as to the reason for absence, and if possible, when you hope to return to work. If you cannot give an estimated date of return to work, then you must contact the practice on each and every day of absence no later than 10 a.m. on each day. If you are late in notifying sickness absence, you may lose part of your sick pay. While away from the practice due to illness you are required to remain in contact with Nigel Jones and supply the appropriate evidence of incapacity.

Evidence of incapacity for work
If you are ill for seven days or fewer you should on your return to work report to Nigel Jones and explain in full the reasons for your absence. You will be required to complete a self-certification form. If sickness absence continues for eight days or more you should obtain a medical certificate from your doctor and forward the original copy without delay to Nigel Jones. Further certificates should be submitted without delay for as long as the illness lasts. Where no contact is made and/or no evidence is produced for absence with good reason, the practice may commence disciplinary procedures.In the case of four periods of self-certificated absence in any calendar year the practice reserves the right to request medical evidence for subsequent periods of absence of fewer than seven days. See Frequent, persistent short-term absence below.

Statutory sick pay (SSP) and practice sick pay
Subject to the above procedure, you will receive practice sick pay (inclusive of SSP) during each calendar year as follows: Length of service Full pay Half pay Less than 6 months SSP only SSP only 6 months - less than 2 years 2 weeks 2 weeks 2 years - less than 4 years 3 weeks 3 weeks 4 or more years 3 weeks 5 weeks These entitlements are the total for each calendar year. Therefore payments of practice sick pay for earlier periods of absence count towards calculating your annual entitlement. Practice sick pay applies pro rata for part-time employees in accordance with the length of the working week. The full rules on eligibility for and payment of SSP are set out according to the statutory requirements.

Unauthorised absence
Any unauthorised absence or where it seems that the reason given for absence is not genuine will be treated as a disciplinary matter in accordance with the practice disciplinary procedure. You will not be paid for days of unauthorised absence.

Return-to-work meetings
On each occasion of illness Nigel Jones hold a return-to-work meeting with you to discuss the reason for your absence and whether any modifications are required in the workplace to reduce the likelihood of repeat periods of illness. Return-to-work meetings will be documented and kept on your employment record.

Long-term absence
Long-term absence is defined as a continuous period of absence or a number of periods of absence for the same or related medical condition punctuated by periods of return to work. An employee who is absent long-term is expected to comply with the above rules for providing evidence of incapacity for work. All medical certificates must be forwarded without delay to Nigel Jones. While you are off work due to illness, Nigel Jones will keep you up-to-date on any news or changes occurring at the practice. Depending upon individual circumstances, but generally before you have exhausted your entitlement to Statutory Sick Pay, you will be asked for written permission for the practice to seek a medical report from your doctor on your long-term prognosis. This report is used to assess the likelihood of a full recovery, the likely date of return and the prospects of being able to do the same work or any reasonable adjustments that may need to be made. Where a medical report indicates that an employee will be unable to return, does not provide any reasonable date for return, or any required accommodations to enable return cannot be met, continued employment with the practice could be at risk. Where there is reasonable doubt from your doctor's report about the nature of the illness or injury, you may be asked to be examined by an independent doctor appointed by the practice. An employee who refuses to provide consent for the practice to gather medical evidence or to undergo a medical examination will be advised in writing that a decision regarding their future employment will be based on the limited information available which may lead to dismissal on grounds of their capacity to do their work. In considering continued employment, the practice will assess whether: 1. Alternative, lighter or less stressful work is available 2. Reorganisation of the team could produce a more suitable job 3. A re-design of the job could facilitate a return to work. Where no suitable alternative work is available, your employment may be terminated with notice on grounds of inability to do your job due to sickness or injury. However, you will have the right of appeal against any decision to terminate your employment.

Frequent, persistent short-term absence
The practice will monitor the absence of all employees. Where there are four periods of self-certificated absence in any calendar year, the practice will hold an informal meeting with the employee to discuss the cause of the absences. The practice reserves the right to request medical evidence for subsequent periods of absence of less than seven days. If, following discussions and/or the receipt of a medical report, there is an underlying medical theme between periods of absence then the long-term absence procedure (above) will apply. If, following discussions and/or the receipt of a medical report, there is no underlying medical theme between periods of absence, the practice will nevertheless continue to monitor absence and request medical evidence for subsequent periods of absence of less than seven days, if felt appropriate. Where there is no improvement in your general health and level of attendance, consideration will be given to your future employment. Your skills, performance, the likelihood of a change in attendance, the availability of suitable alternative work and the effect of past and future absences on the practice will all be taken into account in deciding appropriate action.