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  3. Managing Attendance FAQ

Managing Attendance FAQ

Here you’ll find answers to some of the common questions asked about managing attendance.

Visit the Managing Your Attendance page or for Teachers & Associated Professionals visit the Managing Your Attendance for Teachers & Associated Professionals page for more information on this subject.

A member of my team has reached a trigger point, what steps do I need to take?

A formal absence review meeting must be held. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the reason for meeting a trigger and whether any further follow up action is required. If a formal period of monitoring is put in place, this should be confirmed to the employee in writing.

For further guidance, please contact Employee Relations.

A member of my team has gone off sick and is not keeping in contact. What should I do?

Attempt to contact the employee directly in the first instance. This should be followed by a letter to the employee requesting that contact is made as a matter of urgency.

For further guidance, please contact Employee Relations.

A member of my team has been diagnosed with a serious illness and is currently at work, what steps should I take as a manager to support them?

Meet the employee initially to find out what support they feel they need. The manager should do as much as possible to accommodate any adjustments required on a temporary basis (this will depend on what is possible in the context of the service being delivered). It is important that the manager agrees any adjustments in writing.

For further guidance, please contact Employee Relations.

I am concerned because a member of my team who is due to be in the office, has not been in touch and no one has heard from them for 2 days?

Attempt to contact the employee directly in the first instance (including a home visit if appropriate). This should be followed by a letter to the employee requesting that contact is made as a matter of urgency.

For further guidance, please contact Employee Relations.

I have a staff member whose level of sickness absence can no longer be sustained. How do we work through the stages to bring this case to a more satisfactory conclusion?

For further guidance, please contact Employee Relations.

What is my entitlement to occupational sick pay?

Non-Teaching employees entitlement to occupational sick pay will vary depending on length of service as follows:

Service Full Allowance Half Allowance
Less than 26 weeks Nil Nil
26 weeks but less than 1 year 5 weeks 5 weeks
1 year but less than 2 years 9 weeks 9 weeks
2 years but less than 3 years 18 weeks 18 weeks
3 years but less than 5 years 22 weeks 22 weeks
5 years and over 26 weeks 26 weeks

 

When do I need a fit note?

If an absence is more than 7 calendar days in duration you are required to provide a fit note. Fit notes are signed off by a GP. On the fit note, the GP can advise that: you are ‘not fit for work’ or you ‘may be fit for work’ with adjustments.

When do I need to submit a self cert?

Employees that have access to Myself, Self-certification for sickness absence of 7 days or less will be an online process. The sickness recorded electronically through Myself will capture key data currently recorded on the paper self-certificate form. This removes the need to complete a paper form as it would be a duplication of the existing process.

Employees who do not have access to myself will still require to complete a paper self- certificate.

When should I refer to occupational health?

In general, a referral will normally but not always be made when the absence is attributable to stress or after 4 weeks continuous absence unless the timescale for return to work is straightforward.

It is therefore important that a full discussion has taken place with the employee prior to doing so.

For further guidance, please contact Employee Relations.

How do I reset my HML password?

You can do this yourself via the HML Portal by selecting the ‘forgot password’ option.

I have an HML Billing / Invoicing enquiry?

For further guidance, please contact Employee Relations.

How do I refer to physiotherapy?

The line manager should complete the Physiotherapy Referral form, then email the completed form to NLphysio@northlan.gov.uk

I/My employee was sick while off on annual leave. Can the annual leave be claimed back?

An employee who falls sick during the course of annual leave will be regarded as being on sick leave from the date the fit note is signed by a Medical Practitioner and will be able to recover their annual leave provided this is submitted to his/her manager. A ‘back-dated’ fit note will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

I/My employee was sick prior to an apporoved period of annual leave commencing. Can the annual leave be claimed back?

If an employee falls sick prior to a period of approved leave commencing and they have complied with the Council’s normal arrangement for notification and certification of sickness, they can reclaim and re-assign such a period of leave. The employee is not required to provide a ‘fit note’ for this purpose.

I am currently on sick leave and have a 4 week fit note. For weeks 2 and 3 I have pre-booked annual leave. Can I go on my holiday to Portugal? What do I need to do? Will I be on annual leave or sick leave?

Yes, an employee can go on holiday as long as their GP supports this and they discuss it with their manager.
The employee must maintain contact with line manager at intervals of no more than 7 days. Employee will be regarded as being on sickness absence. (An employee who falls sick during the course of annual leave will be regarded as being on sick leave from the date the fit note is signed by a Medical Practitioner and will be able to recover their annual leave provided this is submitted to his/her manager).

If I go home sick from work, will this count as a sickness absence?

No. If you report for work and subsequently become unwell, this is not regarded as a sickness absence.

Managers should still record this on MyTeam. as ‘Home Ill’.

How often do I need to contact my line manager when I’m off sick. How often to I need to submit a fit note as I’m not sure of the procedure? Do I need to submit a fit note for my sickness absence?

Contact should be made on the 1st, 4th & 7th day of absence . Thereafter you must maintain contact with line manager at intervals of no more than 7 days. (5. (a) Where the absence extends beyond 7 calendar days, on the 8th day you will require to submit a Doctor’s Statement of Fitness for Work (Fit Note) (Med/3) to your designated officer*, together with Form PS6 (self cert) as referred to in Paragraph 3.

(b) Thereafter, you will require to notify your designated officer at intervals of no more than 7 days or as specified by the Doctor’s Statement of Fitness for Work (Med/3).)

MA Policy: 4.1 Employees Responsibilities:
(iv) This contact must be made by the employee on the first day of absence within an hour of normal starting time or within such other timescale which may be specified by the Service. Only in exceptional circumstances will contact be made by another on the employee’s behalf. Further contact must be made on the fourth and seventh calendar day of absence (or next available working day) and, thereafter, on a weekly basis. However, there may be alternative arrangements which will be determined by the manager / supervisor. The use of text messages and e-mail messages is not acceptable for notification purposes.

My employee has already had 3 absences in rolling year and is now onto 4th absence in rolling year. What is the next step?

The manager must hold a formal absence review meeting with the employee when the sickness absence record falls into one of the following categories:
– 3 periods of sickness absence in a rolling 12 month cycle
– 8 days or more cumulative absence* in a rolling 12 month cycle,(*Cumulative absence refers to the total number of days absent accrued over more than one period of absence i.e. not one absence of 8 days)
– or a continuous absence of 2 working weeks.

How do I check if my employee is due to have their annual leave abated due to sickness?

If the employees total absence for the calender year exceeds 3 months, they will be due to have their annual leave entitlement abated.

Please contact the People Helpdesk on 01698 403151 or alternatively email them at ESC-HelpDeskTeam@northlan.gov.uk for further guidance and to have the employees revised entitlement calculated.

How do I check when my employee's med cert is due?

The line manager will be able to view dates of fit notes that have already been submitted for employees on MyTeam/Absence/Sickness Certification details.

How do I check when my employee's last Formal Attendance Review Meeting (FARM) was?

It is the responsibility of line managers to record this on MyTeam, they will be able to view dates of all FARMs for employees on MyTeam/Absence/Absence stage details.

How do I check when the last HML Referral for my employee was?

Line managers can access previous HML referrals for their employees via the Health Management Ltd Portal.

If you are unable to access this information, please contact Employee Relations for further guidance.

How do I check when my employee is due to go onto half pay?

Please contcat the People Helpdesk on 01698 403151 or alternatively email them at ESC-HelpDeskTeam@northlan.gov.uk who will be able to assit you.

Please note that your employee will be issued with a letter notifying them, by the HR Operations team for your service.

How does a phased return to work get recorded after returning from long term absence?

Confirmation of the agreed phased return should be included on the FARM/Capability outcome letter. A miscellaneous adjustment should be applied to Etarmis.

Can I move to discipline on an employee attendance?

For further guidance, please contact Employee Relations.

My SSP payments have stopped, how do I go about claiming ESA (Employment Support Allowance)?

Please contact the People Helpdesk on 01698 403151 or alternatively email them at ESC-HelpDeskTeam@northlan.gov.uk.

I’m in  a No Pay situation.  Who can I speak to about receiving a Hardship Payment?

Please contact the DWP in relation to this.

You can also contact your local Health & Social Care office for an appointment to have a benefits check done.

If you are a member of a trade union, you can also speak to your union representative.

I’m still seeing OSP/SSP adjustments on my payslip.  I was recently absent from work but I’ve now returned?

Please access mySelf to check you have ended your period of sickness absence.

If you have entered an end date, please contact the People Helpdesk for further assistance on 01698 403151 or alternatively email them at ESC-HelpDeskTeam@northlan.gov.uk.

My pay is short. I was recently absent from work but I’ve now returned.  Is it possible I’ve gone onto Half Pay?

Please access mySelf to check you have ended your period of sickness absence.

If you have entered an end date, please contact the People Helpdesk for further assistance on 01698 403151 or alternatively email them at ESC-HelpDeskTeam@northlan.gov.uk.

My Unpaid Leave amount is incorrect or has not been deducted?

Please contact the People Helpdesk on 01698 403151 or alternatively email them at ESC-HelpDeskTeam@northlan.gov.uk.

If you receive a fit note with reason “Bereavement” will this be accepted – or should it state “Bereavement Reaction”?

‘Bereavement’ is not a medical condition, therefore this cannot be accepted and should be amended by the medical practitioner to state the condition which affects the employees fitness for work.

How much Occupational Sick Pay do I receive?

Non-teaching employees (5 Day Week)
0-1 year service = 25 days
1-2 years service = 45 days
2-3 years service = 90 days
3-5 years service = 110 days
5 years + service = 130 days
An employee’s OSP entitlement is based on a rolling year, so you need to go back a full year from when you went off sick and include any days that you were paid OSP during the rolling year.

I'm a menber of Facility Support Staff, who do I report my absence to?

Reporting absence when going off sick or returning should be reported to the following contacts at Fleming House:

Cleaning & Catering Staff – (01236) 856464
Janitors – Duty Manager (01236) 632897

Can I add a new absence reason to the picklist available within iTrent?

Employee Relations team decide what reasons are available on the picklist, therefore this should be referred to them for a decisions.

Please contact Employee Relations.

An employee has advised that their sickness absence is work related, how should this be recorded on iTrent?

Managers must ensure that when an employee has advised that their sickness absence is work related the relevant field is completed on iTrent. Instructions on how to complete this field is contained in Section 6.3 of the Myteam Sickness Absence Guide.

Managers must not automatically record work related sickness absence as an Industrial Injury. An absence will only be recorded as an Industrial injury once it has been clearly determined following a robust incident investigation that the incident occurred through no fault of the employee’s actions or omissions.

An employee's absence reason has changed during their sickness absence. Should this be changed on iTrent?

Managers must ensure that when an employee’s reason for their sickness absence changes during the course of the absence i.e from stress to depression the relevant field is completed on iTrent. Instructions on how to complete this field are contained in Section 6.4 of the Myteam Sickness Absence Guide.

Reasons for absence should be clearly detailed.

The reason ‘Non-specified’ should not be used.

I'm a term time (Non-Teaching) employee and have been absent from work. Am I entitled to any annual leave back?

If your period of absence falls during a period of school holidays, you may be entitled to a proportion of annual leave back.

On your return to work, please contact the HR Operations team for your service and they will calculate what proportion of annual leave you are due back.

A member of staff was injured whilst at work, should this be recorded as an industrial injury?

To establish a claim of industrial injury this would have to be fully investigated by the Safety & Wellbeing team to establish the nature of the incident as there is a distinct difference between a work place accident and an industrial injury claim.

An example of industrial injury would be were you have not been provided with Personal Protective Equipment / Clothing / Training / Instruction to carry out your job and you were injured. An example of an Accident at Work would be if Personal Protective Equipment / Clothing / Training / Instruction was provided but not in use at the time of injury or employee was negligent.

In relation to trips and falls it would need to be established as to what caused this, footwear, flooring, obstruction etc. Depending on the injury sustained, would decide whether it requires to be recorded on CIRIS.

If the injury resulted in absence from work this would require to be recorded on CIRIS. H&S then pick it up and follow this up with their own investigation to further establish if the responsibility/cause lies with NLC or employee. Only when their outcome report confirms NLC were responsible for the cause of injury would it be considered an industrial injury.

Further guidance can be obtained from the Safety & Wellbeing Team.

Updated on 18th November 2019

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