SICK LEAVE AND SICK PAY SCHEME APPLICABLE TO ALL STAFF (INCLUDING HOURLY PAID STAFF)

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1 SICK LEAVE AND SICK PAY SCHEME APPLICABLE TO ALL STAFF (INCLUDING HOURLY PAID STAFF) 1. Introduction 1.1 This scheme sets out the rights, entitlements and obligations upon all members of staff irrespective of length or service, hours worked or type of contract, who are absent from work owing to sickness, accident, injury or other disability. 1.2 To qualify for sick pay, where due, it is important that staff comply with their obligations set out in this scheme and comply with the University s Absence Notification Procedure as set out in Section 3.11 in this Handbook. 1.3 Medical/dental appointments and other similar health care appointments, with the exception of appointments which take place during a period of absence under this scheme, do not fall within the scope of this scheme. The University wishes to support staff in relation to maintaining and improving their well being. For information regarding health care and appointments which fall outside this scheme see Section 8.5 in this Handbook. 1.4 During absence under this scheme staff will be consulted in relation to any restructuring as stated within the University s Avoidance of Redundancy Procedure as set out in Section 12 in this Handbook. This procedure defines the rights of consultation in relation to any organisational change which affects the job the member of staff is employed to do. The procedures also define the right of allocation to a post, ring-fencing within the areas of risk, the right to be offered suitable alternative employment, short-term arrangements and eligibility for redundancy payment as appropriate. 2. Entitlement and Eligibility 2.1 Entitlement to Occupational Sick Pay [OSP] is dependent upon, and increases according to the length of continuous service [see para 3.1]. Service means employment with this University and such other employment as this University may approve. Therefore service with another employer may also count as continuous service for the purpose of entitlement to OSP (see Section 1.3 Continuous Service in this Handbook which details the previous employers recognised through national agreement and the rules for continuous service in respect of contract breaks). 2.2 The date from which continuous service is calculated for all staff irrespective of hours worked or type of contract, will be stated in the written statement of terms and conditions of employment [normally referred to as the contract ]. 2.3 The University has an obligation to pay Statutory Sick Pay [SSP], on behalf of the Benefits Agency, to those staff who are eligible to receive it. This scheme explains regulations affecting entitlement to OSP and the effect of payment of SSP on payment of OSP to those staff who are eligible to receive OSP [see para 3.3]. 2.4 Periods of paid and unpaid sick leave [see para 4.1] are regarded as continuous service for the purpose of calculating entitlement to all employment benefits, e.g. incremental awards, pay awards and preservation of pension rights. Effective date: November of 9

2 2.5 Unpaid sick leave arises where there is no entitlement to SSP/OSP or where entitlement to SSP/OSP has been exhausted. 3. Entitlement to Paid Sick Leave 3.1 Subject to the provisions of this scheme a member of staff will be entitled to the relevant periods of paid sick leave as follows: Service During the first year of service: During the second year of service: During the third year of service: During the fourth and successive years: Sick Pay full pay for one month and after completing four calendar months service before the start of the period of absence through illness, half pay for two months full pay for three months and half pay for three months full pay for four months and half pay for four months full pay for six months and half pay for six months For the purpose of calculating entitlement a month shall be deemed to include twenty-two working days including Saturday where this is a working day and does not form part of a member of staff s leave entitlement. A working day is defined as any day on which the University is open but does not form part of the member of staff s leave entitlement. The scale of allowances set out above is to be regarded as a minimum and the University may extend the allowances based upon the merits of each individual case. 3.2 For part-time staff (including hourly paid staff) allowances are based upon pay due in accordance with their written statement of terms and conditions of employment (normally referred to as the contract ). 3.3 Sick pay will include, where appropriate SSP, and will not exceed full [ordinary] pay due. If staff are entitled to receive SSP, or are in receipt of any other allowances or benefits, these will be offset against any entitlement to full pay [see paras 15 to 17 inclusive]. 3.4 Where a member of staff is restricted to half pay, should this amount fall below the statutory sick pay level, then his/her Occupational Sick Pay will be enhanced to the level of the Statutory Sick Pay entitlement, not exceeding the value of full [ordinary] pay. 3.5 If a public holiday or University holiday occurs during a period of sick leave, a member of staff will continue to receive sick pay where due. However, no payment will be made for a public holiday or University holiday which occurs during a period of unpaid sick leave [see para 2.5]. There is no entitlement to leave which would have arisen due to a public holiday or University closure, to be taken at some other time. 2 of 9 Effective date: November 2011

3 3.6 Exceptional provisions apply to a member of staff who is injured as a result of a crime or violence in the course of his/her work for the University [see para 10]. 3.7 A period of absence due to injury sustained by a member of staff in the actual discharge of his/her duties, and which is not attributable to any fault of his/her own, will be recorded for the purposes of this scheme. 4. Unpaid sick leave 4.1 Periods of paid and unpaid sick leave are regarded as continuous service for the purpose of calculating entitlement to all employment benefits, e.g. incremental awards, pay awards and preservation of pension rights. 4.2 During a period of unpaid sick leave staff who are members of the Teachers Pension Scheme will not have the option of paying contributions to their pension. Further information is available from the Pay and Benefits Section within the Financial Operations Section within the Finance and Planning Department. 4.3 Staff who are members of the Local Government Pension Scheme will accrue benefits, as if working normally, on pay due in accordance with their written statement of particulars of employment [normally referred to as the contract ]. 4.4 Staff who are members of any other pension scheme should contact the Pay and Benefits Section within the Finance and Planning Department for advice. 5. Sick leave year 5.1 The entitlement to paid sick leave for a specific period of sickness absence is calculated as follows: [i] [ii] by calculating the entitlement appropriate to the length of continuous service on the first day of any period of sickness absence [para 2.1], and by deducting from that entitlement the aggregate of periods of sickness absence during the twelve months immediately preceding the first day of absence. 5.2 In the case of a member of staff whose service with another employer counts as continuous service for the purpose of occupational sick pay [see para 2.1] any sick pay paid during the current year by the previous employer will be taken into account in calculating the amount and duration of sick pay payable by the University. 6. Certification of Sickness Absence 6.1 A member of staff who is unable to attend work because of sickness accident, injury or other disability must notify the University of this fact as soon as is reasonably possible, either personally or through a next-of-kin, friend or nominee and must comply with the University s Absence Notification Procedure, irrespective of whether or not sick pay is due (see Section 3.11 in this Handbook). 6.2 In the event of avoidable failure to comply with the University s Absence Notification Procedure this may result in absence being regarded as unauthorised, and lead to loss/withholding of pay where due. Falsifying the grounds upon which sick leave is taken may be treated as failure to attend work without good reason and/or abuse of provision if there is an entitlement. This may also result in the University s Effective date: November of 9

4 Investigation and Disciplinary Procedures being invoked (see Sections 6.5 and 6.1 in this Handbook). 6.3 To qualify for sick pay where due, absence will be required to be substantiated by appropriate documentation. A member of staff who attends work but has to leave due to sickness will have a half day s absence recorded unless half or more of the normal contracted hours for that day have been worked. Members of staff will be required to complete a self certification form giving reasons for absence. A self certification form will not be required for absence of less than half a day [see para 6.4]. 6.4 A member of staff returning to work after a period of sickness absence of one day or more but less than eight consecutive days sickness, which includes days not required to work, not rostered to work, weekends, public and University holidays will be required to complete a self-certification form giving the reasons for absence. 6.5 A medical certificate, completed by a qualified medical practitioner [see para 6.7], must be submitted for any absence which exceeds seven consecutive days [see para 6.4]. Subsequent certificates must be submitted if the absence continues beyond the period covered by the initial certificate. The length of absence covered by each certificate will normally be determined by the medical practitioner. Exceptionally, the University may require certificates at more frequent intervals [see para 6.9]. 6.6 Where the first medical certificate covered a period of more than fourteen days, or where more than one certificate has been necessary, a final certificate indicating fitness to resume work on a specified date is to be obtained before returning to work. 6.7 The University may, at their discretion, accept certificates from qualified Christian Science practitioners. 6.8 A member of staff who is admitted to a hospital or other similar establishment is required to submit a doctor's statement on admission and on discharge. 6.9 Where the University requires members of staff to obtain a medical certificate solely for the purpose of qualifying for sick pay under this scheme, the University will normally refund any reasonable charge, subject to production of a receipt, made for such a statement A member of staff who does not qualify for SSP and/or OSP or has exhausted his/her entitlement to SSP and/or OSP will be required to continue to comply with the University s Absence notification procedure and submit a self certification form and medical certificates where due Photocopies of medical certificates will not be acceptable The University may require a member of staff in the case of a prolonged or frequent absence to submit at any time to an examination by an approved medical practitioner who would normally be nominated by the University. The University s medical support is provided by the Occupational Health Service. Full information may be found in Section 3.5 in the Health and Safety Handbook Members of staff have the right to request an alternative nominated medical practitioner. The reason[s] for the request will be taken into account in identifying a suitable alternative nominated medical practitioner. Members of staff may also request that their own General Practitioner be present at such examinations. The 4 of 9 Effective date: November 2011

5 provisions of the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 and as amended from time to time will apply. Any costs incurred in connection with such an examination will be met by the University. 7. Absence due to Injuries caused by Accidents 7.1 A member of staff who is absent as the result of an accident will not be eligible to receive SSP or OSP if damages are recoverable from a third party as a result of actionable negligence. However, the University will pay the member of staff in advance, the amount of which will not exceed any entitlement under this scheme, subject to him/her signing an undertaking that the total amount of the advance will be refunded, or, if the damages paid are less than this total, the actual amount of damages received. Where such an advance is refunded in full, the absence will not be recorded for the purposes of this scheme. Where only part of the advance is refunded, the University will decide the period of absence which should be recorded. 7.2 No allowance will be payable under this scheme in the case of accidents due to active participation in sport as a profession, unless the University by resolution decides otherwise. However SSP may be payable. 8. Termination or Suspension of Allowances 8.1 The provisions of this scheme will cease to apply from the date on which a member of staff retires, whether by reason of permanent ill-health, infirmity of body or mind, or by reason of age. As from 1 st October 2006, employees over the age of 65 are no longer excluded from entitlement to SSP solely because of their age. 8.2 If the University receives evidence that a member of staff has failed to comply with any requirement under this scheme, or receives evidence that he/she may be guilty of conduct which might prejudice recovery, the payment of SSP and OSP may be suspended. If the University decides on the basis of evidence that a member of staff has failed, without reasonable grounds, to fulfil the requirements of the scheme, or that he/she has been guilty of conduct prejudicial to recovery, then no further payments will be made in respect of that period of absence. In such circumstances, the University will advise the member of staff of the reasons for this suspension. However prior to reaching the decision to suspend the payment the University will present in writing the grounds for suspension with supporting evidence. The member of staff will have the right of reply which will include supporting evidence. 8.3 Any dissatisfaction arising from suspension of payment should be raised in accordance with the University s Grievance Procedures (see Section 6.2 in this Handbook). 9. Sickness during Extended Week Scheme 9.1 Staff who participate in the extended week scheme are required to work additional hours to their normal contractual hours in order to accrue additional annual leave. 9.2 For absences due to sickness, accident, injury or other disability of 28 days or less (including weekends) there is no loss of additional leave accrued under the Extended Week Scheme, but staff will be expected to make arrangements with their line/operational manager to make up the additional hours they are required to have worked to accrue the additional leave. Effective date: November of 9

6 9.3 For absences due to sickness, accident, injury or other disability of more than 28 days (including weekends), additional annual leave will be reduced for the whole period of absence by 1/12th of the annual entitlement for each complete calendar month of absence and the line or operational manager will make the appropriate amendments to the Leave Record Card. Where there is a part-month balance of absence, this period is to be treated in the same way as absences of 28 days or less [above]. 10. Sickness during Annual Leave 10.1 A member of staff may request that his/her period of annual leave, in full or in part, be regarded as sick leave in the following circumstances: [i] [ii] he/she has complied with the University s Absence Notification Procedure; he/she has produced a medical certificate which covers all days of sickness which fall within a period of annual leave due under a contract of employment. Authorisation of requests under this provision is the responsibility of the member of staff s Head of Faculty/Department/School/Research Unit or where applicable, member of the Directorate or Vice-Chancellor. Any cost in producing a medical certificate for this purpose will be the responsibility of the member of staff The University may make enquiries of the member of staff regarding sickness which occurs during annual leave and may determine on the merits of each individual application whether or not sickness will over-ride a period of annual leave [see para 10.1]. Where a request is authorised annual leave will therefore be taken at some other time within the leave year in which leave accrues. If this is not possible leave accruing will carry forward to the following leave year Provisions in relation to annual leave, as set out above, will not apply to any other forms of leave [paid or unpaid] unless expressly stated For additional information for support staff who participate in the extended week scheme see para 9 above For additional information for Academic Staff in respect of sickness abroad during sabbatical leave and research/scholarly activity projects see para. 12 below. 11. Sickness when part of the Flexitime Scheme 11.1 For staff participating in the Flexitime Scheme they are required to work additional hours to their normal contractual hours in order to accrue Flexitime leave Periods of absence on authorised paid sick leave will be credited as worked hours, and recorded as 7 hours and 24 minutes for a whole day s absence, and 3 hours and 42 minutes for a half-day. 12. Staff who fall sick abroad during Annual Leave 12.1 A member of staff must provide their line manager/operational manager or other nominated person with an address or telex point through which communications can be directed. 6 of 9 Effective date: November 2011

7 12.2 Statements to confirm a certifiable period of sickness should be obtained from a recognised medical practitioner or hospital consultant in the country in which the illness has occurred; and this should be sent to the line manager by the eighth day of absence and at regular intervals thereafter. A statement of fitness to work on the termination of the illness should also be obtained if the member of staff is still abroad at that time If a member of staff returns to this country whilst still ill, he/she should see his/her General Practitioner or hospital consultant for treatment and obtain another statement to confirm the illness as soon as reasonably possible The University requires any medical reports made by the medical personnel in the country concerned, for inspection by the General Practitioner or Hospital Consultant Where leave without pay is taken for holidays abroad with or without the addition of paid annual leave, the contract of employment will be suspended to the effect that any illness occurring during the period of unpaid absence will not fall within the scope of this scheme Members of staff are advised, particularly with regard to para 12.2, that arrangements have been made by the Department of Social Security for claimants to be paid sick pay when taken ill in EU countries but this does not apply outside the EU and they should ensure their holiday insurance covers them for such eventualities. 13. Staff who fall sick abroad during Sabbatical Leave and Research/Scholarly Activity Projects 13.1 A member of staff must provide their line manager/operational manager or other nominated person with an address or telex point through which communications can be directed Statements to confirm a certifiable period of illness should be obtained from a recognised medical practitioner or hospital consultant in the country in which the illness has occurred; and this should be sent to the line manger by the eighth day of absence and at regular intervals thereafter. A statement of fitness to work on the termination of the illness should also be obtained if the member of staff is still abroad at that time If a member of staff returns to this country whilst still ill, she/he should immediately see her/his General Practitioner or hospital consultant for treatment and obtain another statement to confirm the illness The University requires any medical reports made by the medical personnel in the country concerned, for inspection by the General Practitioner or hospital consultant Members of staff are advised that arrangements have been made by the Department of Social Security for claimants to be paid sick pay when taken ill in EU countries but this does not apply outside the EU Alternative arrangements for time to complete required outcomes, especially if the research project is commercially funded or academically funded, should be discussed and agreed between the member of staff and the line manager/project partner or other interested party as soon as is reasonably possible. Effective date: November of 9

8 14. Entitlement to statutory annual leave during long-term sickness absence 14.1 Members of staff are entitled to receive 20 days paid annual leave, paid pro-rata for part-time members of staff, in the annual leave year applicable to their employment whilst they are absent from work on long-term sickness. This right is for the statutory annual leave entitlement as stipulated in the Working Time Regulations This right does not extend to any contractual annual leave entitlement which is in excess of the statutory entitlement. All hourly rates used within the University include holiday pay/payment in lieu of holiday. Members of staff who are employed on an hourly rate of pay that includes holiday pay/payment in lieu of holiday are not entitled to additional statutory annual leave A member of staff who has exhausted their entitlement to full or half OSP must apply in writing to their line/operational manager for part or all of their statutory annual leave entitlement in the annual leave year applicable to their employment. The request must state the date(s) of statutory leave. Failure to request statutory annual leave may result in loss of entitlement and there will be no right for that entitlement to be carried forward in to the following annual leave year. A member of staff who is on half or unpaid sick leave will receive their contractual rate of pay for the annual leave period. Sick pay, where due, will not be payable during the annual leave period as the member of staff will be receiving their normal remuneration Periods of statutory annual leave will not extend periods of entitlement to SSP or OSP i.e. the sick pay entitlement will remain static during the period of annual leave Whilst taking statutory annual leave a medical certificate, completed by a qualified medical practitioner (see paras 6.5 and 6.7), will still be required. 15. Allowances and Benefits to be offset against Occupational Sick Pay 15.1 The following allowances will be offset against any entitlement to full pay and half pay: [i] [ii] [iii] The gross amount of Statutory Sick Pay receivable under the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992; The amount of incapacity benefits and Statutory Sick Pay receivable as defined under the National Insurance Acts and Regulations and Social Security [Incapacity for Work] Act Any amount received as a treatment allowance. The dependency element only of the treatment allowance will be deducted from sickness allowance. The employee will, therefore, be entitled to retain the personal element of the treatment allowance A member of staff is obliged to declare to the University their entitlement to any benefits. The University will be entitled to deduct the maximum obtainable for the benefit if it has evidence that the member of staff is entitled to any of these benefits and has not declared the entitlement Where a widow or married woman is paying reduced National Insurance contributions, the amount taken into account when calculating her allowance under this scheme will be the amount equal to the total state benefit and SSP, where due, had full contributions been paid. 8 of 9 Effective date: November 2011

9 15.4 In the case of a widow or a widowed mother, only those benefits which are additional to those which she receives when she is in normal full employment will be deducted from normal pay. 16. Victims of Crimes of Violence 16.1 A member of staff who is absent because of an injury which results in a payment from the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board, will not be required to refund any sick pay received in accordance with this scheme. The University will give consideration of the material circumstances of the case Where an award has been made by the Compensation Board, the University may, at its discretion, discount the period of sick leave occasioned by the injury when calculating any future entitlement to sick pay under this scheme. 17. Contact with Infectious or Contagious Diseases 17.1 A member of staff who, in accordance with the National Insurance Act, is unable to attend work because of contact with infectious disease, must notify the University immediately, and will be entitled to receive full pay less any benefits payable under the Act. Such period of absence will not count against entitlement to normal sick leave In the case of contact with other infectious or contagious diseases not specified in the National Insurance Act, a member of staff should not stay away from work if he/she feels well, but should report the fact to his/her line manager, or other appropriate person within the University. Effective date: November of 9

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