Sickness Reporting and Sick Pay

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1 Sickness Reporting and Sick Pay January 2007

2 SICKNESS REPORTING AND SICK PAY Sickness Reporting Procedure Employees should be told by their line manager who their 'relevant manager' is for the purpose of reporting sickness absences. In order to claim sick pay an employee must:- Notify their relevant manager by am, or within two hours of the shift starting, on their first day of sickness. (Please be aware that some sections may have their own arrangements regarding notification times). Give the date they first became ill, some indication of the nature of the illness and how long they expect to be away Notify the relevant manager on the fourth day of sickness absence, to update them on their condition. Doctor s Certificates Submit a Doctor s Certificate to the Council not later than the eighth calendar day of absence, and subsequent Doctor s Certificates as necessary. Where the Doctor s Certificate covers a period exceeding fourteen days or where more than one Certificate is necessary, the employee must, before returning to work submit to the Council a final Certificate as to fitness to resume duties. A Doctor s Certificate for one week includes the day it is dated i.e. if the Certificate is for one week dated on a Friday, employees should return to work on the following Friday, not the Monday after that. Self Certificates Abuse of Scheme When employees return to work, irrespective of the length of their absence or whether covered by Doctor s Certificates, they must complete the Council s self-certification statement. Saturday and Sunday count as sickness days if they fall in the middle of a period of sickness absence. There are a number of situations which will result in the employee not receiving sick pay:- Abuse of Sickness Scheme (Repeated abuse could lead to disciplinary action). Conduct prejudicial to recovery. Misconduct or neglect. Active participation in professional sport. Injury while self-employed or working for another employer. The employee will be told why they are not getting sick pay. If they are dissatisfied they make take out a grievance. 1

3 Sickness and Annual Leave Should employees become ill while on annual leave and wish to claim sick pay in lieu of holiday, they: Must telephone their relevant manager immediately. Must submit a Doctor s Certificate to their relevant manager to cover all periods of sickness from the first day of sickness. Will be regarded as being on sick leave from the date of a Doctor s Certificate. Where an employee is receiving sick pay under this scheme, sick pay will continue if a public or extra statutory holiday falls during such sickness absence. No substitute public or extra statutory holiday will be given. OCCUPATIONAL SICK PAY ENTITLEMENTS The entitlement to receive Occupational Sick Pay is included in the employee s relevant Terms and Conditions of Employment. Non-teaching Employees During 1st year of service* During 2 nd year of service* During 3 rd year of service* During 4 th and 5 th year of service* After 5 years service* 1 month s full pay and (after completing 4 months service) 2 months 2 months full pay and 2 months 4 months full pay and 4 months 5 months full pay and 5 months 6 months full pay and 6 months *Your length of service is calculated as at the first day of your sickness absence. At the beginning of each period of absence when sick pay is due to be paid to an employee, the amount of sick pay is calculated by reference to sick pay received 12 months immediately preceding the start of the current absence. (For the purposes of this scheme a month will equal 26 days, including Saturdays). The total number of days sickness which have been recorded are deducted from the amount of entitlement as detailed in the above table and the balance of full pay and will be paid during the current period of sickness until the entitlement has been exhausted. 2

4 OTHER RELATED INFORMATION Sickness Absence And Ill Health Procedure In managing sickness absence, both long-term or frequent shortterm absences, the Council has a Sickness Absence and Ill- Health Procedure. This procedure is designed to ensure that employees are supported in a fair and sympathetic way, regardless of the reason/cause of the sickness. An employee shall, if required by the Council at any time, submit to a medical examination by a medical practitioner nominated by the Council, subject to the provisions of the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 where applicable. The Council will meet any costs associated with the examination. Where it is necessary to obtain a second medical opinion, it should be provided by an independent medical referee. Where, for the purpose of qualifying for sick pay under the scheme, the Council requires a doctor s statement from an employee, the Council will reimburse the employee the cost of such a statement on the provision of a receipt. Injury at Work If an employee has an accident and is injured at work it needs to be reported to the line manager, an entry is made in the Accident Book and a Council Accident Form is completed. It is in the employee s best interests to do so for several reasons, including the fact that absences as a result of an industrial injury (which occurred through no fault of the employee) will not be counted against sickness absence entitlement. Employees who earn bonus and fail to report an accident which results in an absence from work may not be paid their average bonus Injury Allowance Scheme Infectious Disease Third Party Claim The Council has approved an Injury Allowance Scheme under the terms of the Local Government (Discretionary Payments) Regulations 1996, brief details of which are set out below. The scheme provides that any employees (other than teachers), who sustain an injury or disease in the course of their employment, which is likely to be permanent, will be entitled to an annual allowance. An employee who is prevented from attending work because of contact with infectious disease will receive normal pay. This period of absence will not count against the employee s entitlements under this scheme. If an employee is on sick leave as a result of an accident outside of work, special rules apply if they succeed in an insurance claim against the other i.e. third party. Initially they will be entitled to receive sick pay in accordance with the scheme. 3

5 If damages are received and refunded by the employee to the Council, then any period of sickness absence caused by the accident will no longer be recorded. Employees will keep the sick pay they have received but the absence will not count against an employee s future entitlement to sick pay. Normal Pay Normal pay includes all earnings that would be paid during a period of normal working, but excluding any weekend enhancements or other payments not made on a regular basis. STATUTORY SICK PAY ENTITLEMENTS Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) Exclusion from Entitlement to SSP Statutory Sick Pay Benefit (SSP) is paid by the employer for a period of 28 weeks. This benefit is subject to Tax and National Insurance contributions. Statutory Sick Pay is not paid by the employer when the employee earns less than the weekly lower earnings limit. Payroll Services will issue the employee with an SSP1 form to take to the Department of Social Security (DSS) office. This must be accompanied by relevant Doctor s Certificates for the period of absence in order that the DSS can make the payments. The DSS will then issue the employee with a form in respect of benefits payable. The employee is required to return this form to Payroll Services as soon as possible. During periods of absence Payroll Services must be informed of any changes to the amount of benefit received. Remember the employee is required to send Doctor s Certificates to their Manager/Supervisor. The employee will have to ensure by written request that medical certificates are returned to themselves so that they can continue to claim benefits. If the employee is not entitled to any benefit from the DSS, the employee will be informed and this letter should be forwarded to Payroll Services who will then refund any notional benefits. Incapacity Benefit Under certain circumstances employees will be paid Incapacity Benefit by the DSS as soon as they go sick, instead of SSP. It may also be possible that liability for Incapacity Benefit transfers back to the DSS in the middle of a period of sickness. When this occurs, the total amount of benefit received from the DSS will be deducted from pay. 4

6 Incapacity (cont..) Benefit If an employee can be paid Incapacity Benefit by the DSS, Payroll Services will write and advise of the transfer of liability. They will also send the employee a form to complete, which should be sent to the DSS to claim any Incapacity Benefit due. Married women paying reduced rate National Insurance contributions are not able to get Incapacity payments from the DSS. They must obtain medical certificates when appropriate. The amount of Incapacity Benefit they would have received if they had paid full insurance will however be deducted from their salary. Employees who have been in receipt of certain State benefits within 57 days of first going sick, may not be entitled to SSP payments. If this is the case the DSS will have given them a letter to this effect which should be passed to their line manager and then to Payroll Services. When the DSS sends payments of Incapacity Benefit they will include forms setting out the rates of benefit employees are entitled to receive. Employees should keep these benefit rate forms Payroll Services will send employees a form to complete concerning the amounts of benefit received from the DSS and will require proof of these amounts by production of the DSS statements (not the payment vouchers). Payroll Services must be informed by the employee of the benefits received and any changes in circumstances that may change entitlement during that period of sickness e.g. further children, children leaving home, etc. Failure to complete this form or produce the necessary documents could result in too much being deducted from pay or even receiving no pay at all. Employees should keep a list of payments received from the DSS as it may be necessary to check that these agree with the total sum deducted from salary. 5

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