How to report your absence

Local Government Employees

Click here for a quick guide on how to report your absence on mySelf.


  • If you are unable to attend work due to sickness, contact must be made 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.
  • Managers will complete the Sickness Absence Reporting & Contact Form and discuss the content of this with you at your return to work discussion.
  • Only in exceptional circumstances will contact be made by another person 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.
  • If the line manager is unavailable, contact should be made with another nominated manager.


  • Where the absence is up to 7 days of incapacity for work or 7 days of sickness, the employee shall, on his/her return to work, complete a self certificate.
  • Where the absence extends beyond 7 days of incapacity for work or 7 days of sickness, on the 8th day, the employee shall submit to the Council a doctor’s medical certificate(s) to cover the period of absence beyond 7 days. Where the employee has been absent for more than 7 days, the first doctor’s medical certificate shall be submitted, as well as a self-certificate.
  • For 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.

Further information on notification & certification procedures can be found in the Supporting Attendance Policy and Procedure.

Early Support Discussion

When an employee reports an absence, the manager should take steps where appropriate to arrange an Early Support Discussion (face to face or remotely) to establish whether there is any immediate support that can be offered that might either prevent an absence or assist the employee’s recovery and allow an earlier return to work.

This is an informal discussion and as such must be conducted in a supportive and constructive manner. The line manager and the employee should work together to explore what the employee can do or might be capable of doing with help and support, to continue to work or return to work whilst they recover.

It is recognised that not every absence or potential absence will require this level of support (i.e. absent due to stomach bug, cold/flu, etc.) but as a minimum immediate support should be offered in cases of psychological or musculoskeletal conditions to organise early intervention measures such as;

  • Physiotherapy Referral – info here
  • Employee Counselling Referral – info here
  • Occupational Health Referral info here
  • Stress Assessment (this should always be offered where the employee reports work related stress but may also be useful where the employees personal stress is impacting on work) – info here
  • Signposting to other support and resources –  info here
  • Temporary Adjustments – this could be nothing more than a later start time   

A toolkit on Conducting an Early Support Discussion is available here

Teachers and Associated Professionals

Stage 1 A teacher or an employee on teachers’ conditions who is unable to report for work must notify the head of establishment as soon as reasonably practicable. If at all possible, this should include the reason for and the likely duration of the absence. In circumstances where the teacher/employee is unable to make personal contact with the head of establishment, a relative or friend should be asked to make the necessary contact.

Stage 2 Teaching staff who are absent from work for 4 to 7 calendar days must complete a self certification form on return to work. For all other employees a self certification form must be completed for 7 days or less.

Stage 3 Where an absence continues to a fourth day, the teacher/employee or some other person acting on his or her behalf, should contact the establishment and indicate whether the period of absence is likely to continue beyond 7 calendar days. Where it is anticipated that the absence will continue beyond the seventh day, a self certification form should be sent to the employee for completion in respect of the first 7 days.

Stage 4 Where the absence extends beyond 7 calendar days, the employee must submit:

(a) A doctor’s fit for work note to cover the period after the seventh day, together with a self certification form to cover the first seven days of absence.

(b) The doctor may report that the teacher may be fit for work. If this is reported, the teacher and manager must discuss the possibility of a return to work adaptation.

Stage 5 All further extensions to the same absence must be covered by a doctor’s statement. These must be submitted concurrently, as failure to do so will affect sick pay entitlement and may also be deemed as deliberate misconduct.

Updated on 9th January 2023

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