DRAFT June 2012 WORKFORCE PROMOTING ATTENDANCE AT WORK POLICY

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1 DRAFT June 2012 ITEM 10.4 NHS TAYSIDE WORKFORCE PROMOTING ATTENDANCE AT WORK POLICY Policy Manager Iain McEachan Policy Group Promoting Attendance at Work Sub Group Policy Established May 2009 Last Updated Policy Review Period/Expiry June 2014 This policy does / does not apply to Medical/Dental Staff (delete as appropriate) UNCONTROLLED WHEN PRINTED 1

2 Policy Development, Review and Control Policy Version Control Version Number Purpose/Change Author Date 1.0 Version Control was introduced in July 2011 and previous versions of this Policy, prior to this date, are available in the Electronic Document Store. George Doherty May Updated Policy Iain McEachan June

3 Contents Page Section 1 PURPOSE AND SCOPE Page 4 Section 2 GENERAL POLICY STATEMENT Page 4 Section 3 ARRANGEMENTS Page Introduction 3.2 Roles & Responsibilities 3.3 Partnership Fora 3.4 Chief Executives & Directors 3.5 Managers and Supervisors 3.6 Employee Responsibility 3.7 Senior Management Team 3.8 Human Resource Directorate 3.9 Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Service 3.10 Staff Side Representatives 3.11 Contractual Sick Pay 3.12 NHS Injury Benefits Scheme 3.13 Information 3.14 Equality Act Section 4 MEDICAL AND DENTAL STAFF ABSENCE Page Policy Application 4.2 Responsibilities and Organisational Arrangements 3

4 SECTION 1: PURPOSE AND SCOPE 1.1 This document provides structure and direction on promoting attendance at work and managing absence and covers all staff employed by NHS Tayside. It is in place to enable employees to fulfil their work potential, which includes effectively managing any health condition at work. 1.2 This and other NHS Tayside Policies provide support for the development of healthy, safe and supportive working environments that contribute to a culture of staff taking responsibility for their attendance at work. 1.3 Managers are encouraged to support staff from the first day of their absence from work to make the quickest recovery possible. This requires managers and staff to consider the potential benefits of temporary adjustments from the first day of sick leave. 1.4 NHS Tayside recognises that in many cases, with some help, staff can be supported to recover from their condition and that work can play a part in that recovery. 1.5 The senior management team and all managers and supervisors involved in managing staff will be encouraged to develop the competencies needed to support staff recover from injury, mental health or other illness including the on set of disability. 1.6 This document should be read in conjunction with NHS Tayside Promoting Attendance at Work Procedures. A document titled Promoting Attendance at Work - Advice for Employee s is also available for all staff and is available via the intranet, Workforce Directorate or Line Manager. SECTION 2: GENERAL POLICY STATEMENT NHS Tayside is committed to a pro-active approach to promoting attendance. Through Partnership working, NHS Tayside recognises the shared responsibility of all NHS Tayside employees to optimise attendance at work. NHS Tayside also recognises that to deliver health service policy and maintain quality of service to users and the population of Tayside, a motivated, flexible and effective workforce is essential. In line with Partnership Information Network (PIN) requirements, national terms and conditions of employment, and the Human Resource and Learning Together strategies, NHS Tayside will provide training, guidance and support in ensuring equality of treatment for all employees in matters of attendance. NHS Tayside promotes a Work Focused Approach to Managing Sickness Absence: This means focusing on what staff can do, or might be capable of doing with reasonable help and support to help them stay in work or return sooner than they might have otherwise. This approach incorporates the Principles of the Statement of Fitness for Work (Fit Note or Statement) to all sickness absence. NHS Tayside is committed to provide a sympathetic, fair and consistent approach to promoting attendance at work. Please refer to the Promoting Attendance at Work Procedures document for guidance on the application of this Policy NHS Tayside recognises as an employee you can expect: a supportive approach from management fair treatment consistency of application confidentiality firm response to abuse of absence procedures effective procedures in dealing with medium and long term incapacity 4

5 access to a confidential counselling or Physiotherapy Service to aid your wellbeing In promoting attendance NHS Tayside will: ensure comprehensive training is provided for staff involved in the management of attendance introduce family friendly policies and flexible working practices expect co-operation from staff in adhering to the procedures implement return to work discussions implement information systems which provide statistics to aid monitoring of attendance levels and provide feedback to Management and Partnership Forum work towards reducing absence from work maintain records of attendance and related meetings comply with relevant and current legislation relating to, for example, Health, Safety and Welfare of employees and the Equality Act deal promptly with the management of medium/long-term incapacity where appropriate, undertake risk assessments, before a staff member returns to work deal with absence management separately from the Employee Conduct Policy SECTION 3: ARRANGEMENTS 3.1 Introduction Everyone in the workforce at all levels feels the impact of ill health on attendance at work. It can significantly affect how an organisation performs. This, in turn, affects the level and quality of service we give our patients, clients and customers. NHS Tayside believes a holistic approach to promoting attendance will benefit individual employees and the organisation. There are several factors thought responsible for affecting attendance rates, including: - working hours/workload pressures caring/social responsibilities motivation changes in working practices absence culture safety, health and welfare services short term self certification long-term sick pay NHS Tayside is committed, through partnership working to assist employees to improve their working life by addressing these and other factors. In order to do so NHS Tayside will introduce flexible working policies, health awareness programmes, performance management systems and training. However, where absences are unauthorised these will be dealt with under the appropriate procedures. Conditions for managing sickness absence will be in accordance with Agenda for Change conditions of service. Separate arrangements apply to Medical and Dental Staff (see Section 4 - Medical and Dental Staff Sickness Absence). 3.2 Roles and Responsibilities NHS Tayside recognises the importance and value of effectively promoting attendance and that it is an integral part of line management, for whom the application of this policy is a prime 5

6 responsibility. NHS Tayside therefore encourages and expects the co-operation and involvement of all staff in this process. 3.3 Partnership Fora It will be the responsibility of each Partnership Forum to monitor attendance at work and to ensure any problem areas are addressed. 3.4 Chief Executives and Executive Directors NHS Tayside Chief Executives and Directors have ultimate responsibility to reduce risks to the organisation, which affect the quality and delivery of services. In order to do so they are committed through partnership working to promoting and creating a healthy working environment. They will however, discharge this responsibility on a day-to-day basis by delegating responsibilities appropriately to other managers and staff. 3.5 Managers and Supervisors Managers and Supervisors will have day-to-day responsibility for ensuring the effective implementation of all aspects of the promoting attendance policy, including arrangements for - Risk assessment Induction and training Reporting and recording absence Investigations Return to work discussions OHSAS referral Supportive and corrective action Communicate with absent staff Rehabilitation and Phased return to work Managers will be required to undertake appropriate training, which will assist them in the fair and consistent application of this policy. This includes taking the lead during meetings arranged to review attendance issues with their staff. Managers will be responsible for ensuring there are appropriate procedures in place to ensure full compliance with return to work discussions. Managers are encouraged to support staff from the first day of their absence from work to make the quickest recovery possible. This requires managers and staff to consider the potential benefits of Temporary Adjustments from the first day of sick leave. Managers can refer staff to OHSAS in order to provide assistance to a staff member on a health-related matter, or to enable OHSAS to provide the manager with advice about the staff member s health in relation to their work. Managers should also be aware other policies available to support staff including; Alcohol, Drug and Other Substance Misuse Policy, Compassionate and Bereavement Leave Policy, Domestic Abuse Policy, Special leave Policy etc. 3.6 Employee Responsibility All employees of NHS Tayside have a duty to work the hours as stated in their Contract of Employment. Employees must also co-operate with NHS Tayside procedures relating to management of attendance including communicating with their manager when absent from work. At any formal stage of this policy a member of staff has the right to be represented by a lay or full-time official of an NHS Tayside recognised trade union or professional organisation or accompanied by a colleague. Employees shall be reminded of their rights prior to the formal meeting. 6

7 The employee also has the right to initiate self-referral to OHSAS for any health related matter. 3.7 Senior Management Team It will be the responsibility of the Senior Management Team to monitor absence and highlight any areas for concern. They will be responsible for developing appropriate performance indicators and reporting arrangements, including those involving appropriate Partnership Forum(s). 3.8 Human Resources The Human Resources Directorate will provide appropriate support, advice and guidance to managers and staff on the application of the policy. Training on policy and procedures will also be organised by the Human Resource Directorate. 3.9 Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Service The Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Service (OHSAS) provide a focus of information, advice and practical assistance as well as confidential counselling and health surveillance through its team of: - Director Occupational Health Physicians Occupational Health Nurses Counsellors Health and Safety Advisers Staff may access the Counselling and Psychology Service at any time through self-referral to an OH physician or nurse for any health-related matter, particularly if it relates to, or is affecting their work. Information is not divulged to any third party without the prior written consent of the employee. When, a manager makes a referral to OHSAS, then specific information relating only to the employee s fitness for work will be given. OHSAS can give specialist guidance to managers on the workplace, which may assist in creating a healthier, working environment. Such referrals must be done with the informed consent of the employee this will include the reason for referral and must be sought on each occasion a referral is initiated. It is essential that such a referral is not portrayed as a punishment and that the reasons for it are fully explained to the employee. It is a condition of employment that the employer continues to be satisfied of the medical fitness of the employee to carry out his/her duties. Therefore NHS Tayside reserves the right to require an employee to undergo a medical examination at any time, which will be carried out by the Occupational Health and Safety Advisory Service Staff Side Representatives Staff Side representatives have a responsibility to support and advise their members about their rights and responsibilities under the terms of this policy. They also have a responsibility to work with management in the attempts to improve the overall performance of the organisation Contractual Sick Pay Employees absent from work due to illness will be entitled to receive contractual sick pay as follows: 7

8 during the first year of service one month s full pay and two month s half pay during the second year of service two month s full pay and two month s half pay during the third year of service four month s full pay and four month s half pay during the fourth and fifth years of service five months full pay and five month s half pay after completing five years of service six month s full pay and six month s half pay Sick pay for those who have exhausted sick pay entitlements should be reinstated at half pay, after 12 months continuous sickness absence, in the following circumstances: staff with more than 5 years reckonable service sick pay will be reinstated if sick pay entitlement is exhausted before a final review meeting for long term absence has taken place staff with less than 5 years reckonable service sick pay will be reinstated if sick pay entitlement is exhausted and a final review does not take place within 12 months of the start of their sickness absence Reinstated pay will continue until the final review meeting takes place. Please note if the delay in undertaking a final review meeting is not caused by the employer the above provision related to the reinstatement of sick pay will not apply. In addition managers also have discretion to extend sick pay entitlements in circumstances deemed reasonable. In circumstances where re-instatement of pay is being considered authorisation should be sought from the appropriate General Manager, Clinical Group Manager or Director. The Extension to contractual sick pay authorisation form should be completed on each occasion and is available from the Workforce Directorate. Please note: Full conditions for Contractual Sick Pay are in accordance with Paragraph 14, of Agenda for Change Conditions of Service NHS Injury Benefits Scheme Provides benefits for any NHS employee who, as a result of an injury, disease or condition wholly or mainly caused by their NHS employment. Under the NHS Injury Benefits Scheme if you are on certificated sick leave with reduced pay because of an injury or disease or condition wholly or mainly caused by your NHS employment, you may be eligible for temporary injury allowance. Full information on the NHS Injury Benefits Scheme is available from your manager or directly from: 3.13 Information Scottish Public Pensions Agency NHS Injury Benefits team Tweedside Park Tweedbank Galashiels TD1 3TE For details of absence management Procedures please see Promoting Attendance At Work Procedures. The policy and procedures are available via the Workforce Directorate, intranet, individual managers and Staff Side Organisations. 8

9 3.14 Equality Act The Equality Act prohibits discrimination against disabled people. NHS Tayside has a duty of care to provide reasonable adjustments to reduce the disadvantage employees with a disability would otherwise experience. NHS Tayside takes a positive approach to the possibilities of putting in place adjustments to support staff and will carefully consider all reasonable possibilities. Consideration, patience and support should be shown to employees to help them cope with their working environment and their changing circumstances. SECTION 4: MEDICAL AND DENTAL STAFF SICKNESS ABSENCE 4.1 Policy Application The terms of this policy should be applied with reference to the agreed national terms and conditions relating to Consultant staff, doctors in training, and other grades of Medical and Dental Staff. 4.2 Responsibilities and Organisational Arrangements The Medical Director is responsible for ensuring the appropriate application of this policy with respect of Medical and Dental staff Clinical Directors are responsible for the management of sickness absence issues involving Medical and Dental staff within their area of accountability, including the reporting of and maintenance of records of sickness absence. Clinical Directors can delegate authority to act on their behalf to Clinical Leaders and /or Clinical Managers /Group Service Managers, where appropriate Medical and Dental staff are responsible for ensuring compliance with the terms of this policy, including requirements for local reporting of sickness absence. 9

10 NHS TAYSIDE - POLICY/STRATEGY APPROVAL CHECKLIST This checklist must be completed and forwarded with policy to the appropriate forum/committee for approval. POLICY/STRATEGY AREA: (See Intranet Framework) Workforce POLICY/STRATEGY TITLE: Promoting Attendance at Work LEAD OFFICER George Doherty, Director of Human Resources Why has this policy/strategy been developed? Has the policy/strategy been developed in accordance with or related to legislation? Please give details of applicable legislation. Has a risk control plan been developed? Who is the owner of the risk? Who has been involved/consulted in the development of the policy/strategy? Has the policy/strategy been assessed for Equality and Diversity in relation to:- Race/Ethnicity Gender Age Religion/Faith Disability Sexual Orientation Please indicate /No for the following: In support of NHS Tayside strategy on promoting attendance Statutory disputes procedures also in line with Partnership Information Network requirements and national Terms and Conditions of employment George Doherty, Director of Human Resources Policy developed in Partnership. Consultation undertaken across line managers and staff side representatives throughout Tayside Has the policy/strategy been assessed For Equality and Diversity not to disadvantage the following groups:- Please indicate /No for the following: Minority Ethnic Communities (includes Gypsy/Travellers, Refugees & Asylum Seekers) Women and Men Religious & Faith Groups Disabled People Children and Young People Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Does the policy/strategy contain evidence of the Equality & Diversity Impact Assessment Process? Is there an implementation plan? Which officers are responsible for implementation? George Doherty, Director of Human Resources When will the policy/strategy take effect? Who must comply with the policy/strategy? How will they be informed of their responsibilities? Is any training required? If yes, has any been arranged? All staff Via contract of employment, induction, training and general communication via Vital Signs etc. Are there any cost implications? If yes, please detail costs and note source of funding Who is responsible for auditing the implementation of the policy/strategy? What is the audit interval? Who will receive the audit reports? When will the policy/strategy be reviewed and by whom? (please give designation) George Doherty, Director of Human Resources SG quarterly APF 6 monthly Area Partnership Forum and Staff Governance Committee will receive the reports 2 years George Doherty, Director of Human Resources 10

11 Name: Date: 11

12 1. Rapid Impact Checklist Which groups of the population do you think will be affected by this proposal? Other groups: minority ethnic people (incl. gypsy/travellers, refugees & asylum seekers) people of low income women and men people with mental health problems people in religious/faith groups homeless people disabled people people involved in criminal justice system older people, children and young people staff lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people N.B. The word proposal is used below as shorthand for any policy, procedure, strategy or What positive and negative impacts do you think there may be? proposal that might be assessed. Which groups will be affected by these impacts? What impact will the proposal have on lifestyles? For example, will the changes affect: The Policy promotes the health and well being of staff. Diet and nutrition? Exercise and physical activity? Substance use: tobacco, alcohol or drugs? Risk taking behaviour? Education and learning, or skills? Will the proposal have any impact on the social environment? Things that might be affected include Social status Employment (paid or unpaid) Social/family support Stress Income Will the proposal have any impact on Discrimination? Equality of opportunity? Relations between groups? Will the proposal have an impact on the physical environment? For example, will there be impacts on: Living conditions? Working conditions? Pollution or climate change? Accidental injuries or public safety? Transmission of infectious disease? Will the proposal affect access to and experience of services? For example, Health care Transport Social services Housing services Education The Policy contributes to guidance and advice on dealing with Work Related Stress. The Policy supports employees to return to work following ill health absence and sustain employment when suffering from on going health difficulties. The Policy will contribute towards the fair and consistent application of the The Equality Act. The Policy promotes a healthy working environment. It also provides advice on the control of infectious disease. The Policy provides advice on working conditions where adaptations may be required to support and sustain employees with health difficulties (includes responsibilities under the Equality Act specifically in relation Disability Discrimination. No 12

13 Rapid Impact Checklist: Summary Sheet Positive Impacts (Note the groups affected) Negative Impacts (Note the groups affected) The Policy will positively impact on employees of NHS Tayside and indirectly the groups listed above. By promoting a healthy working environment and reducing sickness absence there will be a positive impact on the level and quality of service provided to patients, clients and customers. Additional Information and Evidence Required Recommendations The Policy in its reviewed form meets the criteria set down in terms of Equality and Diversity. From the outcome of the RIC, have negative impacts been identified for race or other equality groups? Has a full EQIA process been recommended? If not, why not? Having considered a wide range of equality and diversity issues the group believes there are no negative impacts identified. The Policy will have a positive impact on employees and also contribute to the level and quality of service provided to patients, clients and customers. Managers Signature: Iain McEachan 1

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