Human Resources ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE. Agreed June 2013

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1 Human Resources ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE Agreed June 2013 To be reviewed 2015

2 Contents Page 1. Scope and Policy 3 2. Accountability 3 3. Learner Involvement 3 4. Process 4.1 Rules for Notifying the College of your Absence & keeping in contact Certificate of Illness Further Medical Information Injury at Work Return to work interview Managing your return to work Managing your attendance Attendance Review Procedure Management of Long Term Conditions or Injuries Complying with your obligations under this Policy Misconduct Keeping Records Reminder procedure for time off for family emergencies Further Information 15 2

3 1. Scope and Policy It is in the interest of everyone students, employees and the College, that we have high attendance standards. This policy and procedure is designed to help us meet our business objectives, which are: To deal positively and sympathetically with employees who have medical conditions or injuries which affect their ability to work normally; To avoid operational difficulties and maintain effective staffing levels; and To deal fairly and reasonably with employees who have either frequent periods or extended periods of sickness absence. The aim of the College policy is to minimise disruption to work while at the same time treating fairly and compassionately all staff with legitimate reasons for needing to be absent from work. You should familiarise yourself with this policy so that you know what is expected of you if you become ill. It applies to all employees of the College. The policy does not give any contractual rights to individual employees. We reserve the right to alter any of its terms at any time although we will notify you in writing of any changes. Employees of the College are expected to attend work regularly. However Blackpool and The Fylde College does not require, nor does it wish, employees who are unfit for work to attend. The procedures set out in this policy are agreed between management and the recognised trade unions and may be changed from time to time after agreement between all parties. They must be followed when staff are absent from work due to sickness and when the College is taking action in line with the absence record of any of our employees. 2. Accountability The Director of Human Resources is responsible for ensuring that this Policy and the Procedures are implemented, regularly reviewed and updated. All staff are responsible for adhering to the requirements set out in this document. All managers conducting the hearings are responsible for ensuring that the procedures outlined are followed. If, for some reason, employees do not follow the absence reporting procedures, the Human Resources Department will take the initiative to make contact. Furthermore, that absence may be treated as unauthorised, which could result in disciplinary action, including dismissal, being taken. It is also a condition of being eligible for any Occupational/ Statutory Sick Pay that employees comply with these rules by telling the College of their absence, keeping in touch throughout that absence, providing a self-certificate and medical certificates on time and co-operating with any requests for further medical information, as set out in this document. 3. Learner Involvement There is no direct learner involvement in this policy. However, learners can be adversely impacted upon through the absence of staff due to sickness and failure to follow the correct reporting procedures. Accordingly the management of attendance recognises the need for all College staff to be expected to be in work. Where this is not possible, the correct reporting procedures must be followed. 3

4 4. Process 4.1 Rules for Notifying the College of your Absence and keeping in Contact Reporting/Notification procedure The purpose of requiring notification of absence is to enable the College to make any necessary arrangements for cover and to ensure employees are paid in accordance with their entitlements. Managers will ensure that every employee understands and follows the sickness reporting procedures. If you are absent from work due to sickness, it is your responsibility to ensure your Manager is notified of your absence, the nature of your illness and likely return date. You must notify your manager at the earliest opportunity, prior to your start time where possible, and in any event on the first day of absence. If you are unable to speak to your Manager you must speak to a member of your department and call back later on your first day of absence to attempt to speak to your manager. You should make the call yourself and not ask someone else to make it on your behalf. It is not acceptable to text or your manager or leave a message with a friend, colleague or with switchboard. Only in exceptional circumstances should another person call on your behalf. Failure to follow reporting procedures may result in your absence being treated as unauthorised, payment of occupational/ statutory sick pay being withheld and disciplinary action taken in accordance with the College Disciplinary Policy If your illness is of a personal or distressing nature and you do not wish to discuss your absence with your Manager, you can talk to a member of the HR Team. However, please be aware that it may become necessary to disclose information as appropriate to your manager to support your return to work, for example where adjustments may be needed. If you leave work early due to illness or arrive at work part way through your normal working day due to earlier illness, the time lost will be recorded on the HR system but will not be treated as day 1 of your sickness for pay purposes. However, the time lost will be treated as day 1 of your sickness for absence monitoring purposes unless you are sent home by your Manager. You must follow College reporting procedures where you are absent at the beginning of your working day and you must notify your manager beforehand if you leave early. In addition, the flexi time scheme and working from home arrangements should not be used as an alternative to sickness absence. If you are on holiday and become ill, the period of illness will count as sickness absence, leaving your holiday entitlement to be taken at a later date, providing that your absence is covered by a Doctor s certificate Form Med 3 or you submit a private fit for work note. The College will not normally refund any charge made for the certificate. Please refer to the College s Leave Entitlement policy. Any such sickness absences must be reported to the College in accordance with the reporting/ notification procedures set out in this Policy. Failure to follow these procedures will result in the absence being treated as annual leave. Please also see the College s Sick Pay Policy for information on rights and entitlements to Occupational and Statutory Sick Pay. It is the College s policy to keep in touch with employees during all absences, whatever the length. Unless your Manager tells you otherwise you should contact your manager again by telephone after 2-3 days to let them know your progress and when you are likely to be back at work. This continued contact is intended to help and support you; please do not interpret it as an intrusion or pressure to return to work before you are well. Please also notify your manager if you have been issued with a fit note from your GP and forward this immediately to your Manager or the HR Department. You should not try to return when your Doctor has signed you off as being unfit unless it has been agreed by your Manager and Human Resources (HR) that you are fit to do so. If your Manager and HR are not satisfied that you are fit enough to return, they may withhold their permission to 4

5 allow you to return to work. This procedure is covered in more detail in section 4.6. If it becomes clear your absence is likely to become longer-term, your Manager will agree with you how frequently you need to contact the College to keep us informed of your progress. You will normally be asked to telephone your Manager once a week. The HR Department and your Manager may also arrange to meet you periodically. Employees will be informed of meetings in advance and will have the opportunity to ask for the meeting to be at home, in the workplace, or other appropriate venue instead. You may have a colleague, Trade Union representative, friend or family member present at a keeping in touch visit. Failure to comply with the reporting procedures is a disciplinary offence and could affect your Occupational/Statutory Sick Pay. 4.2 Certificate of Illness Return to Work and Self Certification Form On your return to work, you will be required to complete a Return to Work & Self Certification form. This form certifies your absence in respect of the first seven days (including weekends) of your illness. The form should be completed and submitted at the time of your Return to Work interview. Once completed, the form will be filed with the HR Department Medical Certificate For periods of illness longer than seven calendar days, or earlier if requested, you must also provide a Doctor's certificate Statement of Fitness for Work Form Med 3 to cover the absence until you return to work. This certificate should be sent in or delivered to your Manager or HR Department immediately. Managers are also responsible for forwarding any received certificates immediately to the HR Department. Your GP will advise one of two options which will affect the way your absence is managed: Not fit for work this means the GP has assessed you as having a health condition that prevents you from working for the period of time stated on the certificate. When the medical certificate expires, the College will assume that you are fit unless you have another certificate. If you are still unwell when the certificate expires, it is your responsibility to make another appointment to obtain a further certificate. Alternatively, the GP may complete the part of the form where they can state that they want to see you again when the fit note expires. If, following that consultation, the GP concludes you are fit again, you should confirm the date of your return to work and any necessary adjustments with your Manager or HR in the first instance. If your GP concludes you remain unfit to return, you should forward Form Med 3 to your line Manager to arrive by the day after your previous certificate expires. May be fit for work taking account of the following advice this means the GP has assessed your condition and believes it does not necessarily stop you from returning to work. For example, you could return to work but may not be able to complete all of your normal duties, or you could benefit from amended working hours. This procedure is set out in section The College reserves the right to require you to provide a private fit for work note, at the College s expense, to cover an absence of less than 7 days. You will be told in writing if this applies to you and any Occupational Sick Pay will not be payable without one. This is normally where more than three periods of self certificated absence occur in any 12-month period Payment of Occupational / Statutory Sick Pay will only be authorised where correct reporting procedures have been followed and where issued medical certificates have been received by the HR Department. 5

6 4.2.5 Sick pay that has been overpaid will be deducted from the next pay due, after discussion and agreement with the employee. 4.3 Further Medical Information In the case of more serious or extended periods of illness, you may be required, when or before you return to work, to attend a medical examination with the College s Occupational Health Adviser or a medical specialist. This will enable the College to provide you with support, treatment and specialist occupational medical advice. It will also provide Managers with the necessary information to enable decision-making around workplace support. Any medical reports may also be taken into account when making decisions about your future employment. Referrals to the Occupational Health Adviser will be dependent upon individual circumstances and we may ask your permission to obtain a medical report from your own GP. This is to enable us to get a clear picture of the way your condition is affecting your ability to work, whether there is anything the College can do to help you return to work and to ensure we are meeting our duty of care obligations. Under the provisions of the Access to Medical Reports Act 1988 where you have attended an examination by a medical practitioner nominated by the College, any costs incurred in connection with the examination will be met by the College when the appointment is attended. If you are unable to attend an appointment that has been arranged by the College, you must contact the Occupational Health department / medical specialist to re-arrange the appointment and HR Department to explain the reason for your non attendance. If you fail to attend an appointment that has been made for you, without confirming non attendance at least 48 hours before the appointment time and without re-scheduling the appointment, unless there is a good reason, you will incur the cost for the missed appointment. This would normally be from your next salary payment. You have the right to see any medical opinions or advice and the right to challenge them and have your views recorded. Referrals will normally be requested in the following circumstances: Where an employee is indicating they have particular problems affecting their job, referrals may be made immediately. Employees do not need to be absent to be referred; If a GP recommends referral on the fit note ; If an employee absent through sickness states they are suffering from work related stress or where this is stated on a doctors certificate, a referral will be done immediately; Employees on long-term absence will normally be referred to OHS after the first four weeks of absence; If, in a persistent short-term absence case, the employee or manager believes or suspects that an underlying medical problem is a contributory factor, then a referral is likely to be part of the Attendance Review Procedure (see 4.8). You are expected to co-operate in providing medical information and should be aware that the College will have to consider your case on the basis of the information available to the College and this may include a decision, such as whether or not your employment should be terminated. 4.4 Injury at Work If you are absent from work as a result of an industrial accident or illness caused by work, or you are unable to carry out you normal duties as a result of an injury at work, you must notify your manager who will ensure the College Health and Safety Co-ordinator is informed. You will be sent a College accident report to complete. 6

7 If the absence is likely to be for a period exceeding seven days, not including the day of the accident but including weekends, the accident becomes reportable by law to the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) as a seven day injury. Please ensure that you keep your manager fully informed on your progress during any absence due to an accident or injury at work in order that the College remains within the requirements of Health & Safety legislation. Further information on Health and Safety at Work can be found on: Any period of absence due to a workplace injury or illness caused by work will be subject to Occupational Sick Pay but will be excluded from the instigation of future formal caution stages. Please note that reported workplace injury or illness caused by work will not automatically be accepted and will be subject to review by your Manager and Human Resources. A member of staff who contracts a notifiable illness as a result of their work, or the materials they use whilst carrying out their normal duties at the College must notify the Health and Safety Coordinator as soon as the illness is diagnosed. This will allow the necessary report required by law to be made within the required time scale. Any period of absence due to work related stress will be managed in line with the College s Policy for Managing Stress and Wellbeing in the Workplace available on the HR website. 4.5 "Return- to-work Interview" Your Manager will meet with you to discuss the reason for your absence and what has happened in your department during it. This interview should take place on the day that you return to work or at the earliest opportunity and no later than one working week from your date of return to work. If you do have any underlying problems or reasons that are causing you to take time off, this is a good opportunity to discuss them and for your Manager to assist you with any temporary adjustments and / or additional support. Please note that return to work interviews must also be conducted for absences where you have left early or arrived part way through your normal working day due to illness. Interviews will be carried out at an agreed time, and in a neutral, private place. You have the right to challenge any aspect of the interview that you are unhappy with. The outcome of the interview will be agreed between yourself and your line manager and recorded on the Return to Work & Self-Certification form. If your Manager agrees that it is necessary for any temporary adjustments and / or additional support to be provided, this will be mutually agreed and documented on a Temporary Adjustments form. These forms must be immediately returned to the HR Department. If submitted by ed electronic copy, this must be in PDF form with the employee copied into the communication. If your illness is of a personal or distressing nature and you do not wish to discuss your absence with your Manager, you can talk to a member of the HR Team. However, please be aware that it may become necessary to disclose information as appropriate to your manager to support your return to work, for example where adjustments may be needed. 4.6 Managing your Return to Work As detailed in section 4.2, GPs now have two options when issuing you with a medical certificate. The College will manage this as follows: May be fit for work - When you have been issued with a medical certificate or fit note on which your GP has ticked may be fit for work, the GP should also have ticked one of the four generic categories of adjustments on the fit note, or provided a more specific recommendation. The GP may also have written a comment about how your general abilities may have been impaired (such as has difficulty standing ). However, the GP is unlikely to have given you as much detail about the degree to which you have been affected (such as how long you can stand for). This can only be ascertained by discussing this directly with you and assessing whether there are any reasonable steps that we could take to help you return to work. 7

8 Using the Temporary Adjustments Form, your Manager will discuss possible adjustments with you to help overcome any obstacles that are preventing you from working. Your Manager will make it clear in writing to you: what the adjustments are; how long you have agreed they should last, and that you will be holding regular review meetings. You will not be left on restricted duties without continuous review of your capabilities. As any temporary adjustments need only be in place for a short time, regular review meetings will be set up by your Manager with a view to you resuming full, normal duties within a reasonable timeframe. A referral to Occupational Health may be made if it is necessary for the arrangement to exceed the agreed timeframes. If we are unable to accommodate the GPs advice, after careful consideration of your circumstances, Human Resources will write back to the GP to advise them that you will remain off work. If you have a disability, you may need permanent adjustments to help you overcome any obstacles that are preventing you from working. In any such event, further advice will be sought from the College s Occupational Health Adviser and / or the College s TASC team. Unfit for work - Your GP may have ticked that you are unfit for work. There are many reasons why a GP may have chosen that path. Apart from in the most obvious cases of very severe incapacity, it does not automatically mean there is no scope for you to return to some work. If you feel able to return to work in some capacity part way through your certified absence, you can only do so following agreement with your Manager and HR. You should contact your Manager in the first instance and prior to return so they can explore with you whether there is anything they can do to provide you with support to return to work, taking account of any further medical advice as received and through completion of the Temporary Adjustments Form. If your Manager, following consultation with HR, agrees that you are well enough to return to work, you will not be required to obtain a medical certificate to confirm that this is the case and, upon completion of the mutually agreed Return to Work & Self-Certification form and Temporary Adjustments Form, you can return to work. If your Manager, following consultation with HR, is not satisfied that you are fit enough to return, he / she may withhold their permission to allow you to return to work and you will be required to submit your medical certificates in the usual way or provide a fit for work medical certificate from your GP. 4.7 Managing your Attendance The College recognises that employees are sometimes too unwell to attend work and that they need time off to recover properly. However, unfortunately, there are limits to the amount of absence that the business and colleagues can sustain. Therefore, the College monitors the absence levels of all employees and, where appropriate, will take action to bring about an improvement. 4.8 Attendance Review Procedure Our procedure has the following stages: 8

9 Informal attendance review meeting (which may take place for any pattern of absence which are causing concern); First formal caution; Final formal caution; and Dismissal. You have the right to appeal at any formal stage and you have the right to be accompanied by a work colleague or trade union official at any formal stage. You will be presented with written evidence of your attendance records that are deemed to give cause for concern. The College have set absence levels to help us identify unacceptable standards of attendance. It is important that you understand that a set level is not an entitlement to sickness absence and you may be called to account for any level of absence. Informal Attendance Review Meeting The first absence level which will lead to an attendance review meeting is: Ten working days / two working weeks (depending on pattern of work) or three or more occasions of absence during a rolling period of twelve consecutive months. Please note that reaching a level of ten working days/two working weeks is cumulative and not restricted to a single spell of absence. If your attendance level reaches this stage your Manager or nominated Deputy will invite you to an attendance review meeting to be held no later than 2 weeks from the date this stage is reached. The purpose of this meeting is to alert you to the fact that your absence frequency/level is causing concern, to discuss the reasons for your absence, identify any underlying medical issues, explore what support/assistance can be offered and to agree an action plan for improvement. However, in the absence of any extenuating circumstances, future formal caution stages will be initiated if no improvement is achieved within a 6 month period. This meeting will be carried out at an agreed time, and in a neutral, private place. A written record of this meeting should be made using the Attendance Review form and signed by both the manager and employee. This needs to be sent to the Human Resources Department for information. Please note that whilst this can be attached to Return to Work & Self-Certification form, this is a separate meeting to the return to work interview. If you undertake more than one job role during a normal working week and have more than one Manager, your Managers will discuss with you who will conduct this meeting, in conjunction with discussion with the HR Department. Absence monitoring will not be applied indiscriminately without due account being taken of individual extenuating circumstances. The following types of absence will be excluded from the general monitoring procedure when determining whether informal attendance review meetings or formal caution stages should be instigated: Absences due to work-related injury or /illness caused by work including work-related stress and assaults by members of the public or students Absence related to pregnancy Absence in relation to disability leave Operations and related ill health Communicable diseases which are notifiable under Health Protection Agency Regulations. Please note that this is conditional on a medical certificate being forwarded to the HR Department that states an applicable condition. Further information can be found on: HPA List Other possible exceptional circumstances such as serious illness and traumatic events. Please note this is subject to agreement by your Manager and the HR Department. Where absences relate to the above, attendance will still be monitored and dealt with as 9

10 appropriate and this may include referral to occupational health. If you have a long lasting illness we would normally manage it in the way set out in section 4.9. However, we may deal with any kind of absence under either section 4.8 or 4.9 or both where appropriate. First Formal Caution If your absence does not improve and you are absent again, through a reason that is not excluded, for four working days or more (or 0.8 of a working week for a part time member of staff) or on two or more occasions within 6 months of the attendance review meeting. Your Head of Department or nominated Deputy, supported by the HR Department, will ask you to a formal review meeting to discuss your absence levels and the reason for it. You will be given the opportunity to put forward your case. You will be given 5 working days written notice of the meeting by the HR Department, unless varied by mutual consent and you will have the right to be accompanied at this meeting (and any further formal meetings in the procedure) by a work colleague or certified trade union official. If appropriate in the circumstances, you will be given a formal caution for reaching this absence level using the 1 st formal caution form. This will state that you are required to make a substantial and lasting improvement in your attendance. The exact details of the improvement required will be discussed and agreed at this meeting. If you do achieve this improvement then the caution will lapse after 6 months from the date it is issued. Please note that employees issued with a first caution will also not be eligible for a performance related increment for that academic year. Final Formal Caution If you are absent again, through a reason that is not excluded, for four working days or more (or 0.8 of a working week for a part time member of staff) or on two or more occasions within 6 months of the issue of a first caution. Your Head of Department or nominated Deputy, supported by the HR Department, will hold another formal review meeting with you to discuss your absence levels and the reason for it. You will be given the opportunity to put forward your case. You will be given 5 working days written notice of the meeting by the HR Department, unless varied by mutual consent and you will have the right to be accompanied at this meeting (and any further formal meetings in the procedure) by a work colleague or certified trade union official. If appropriate in the circumstances, you will be given a final caution using the final formal caution form. You will be informed that unless your sickness absence record improves and is maintained at an acceptable level then dismissal may follow. If there is a substantial and lasting improvement in your attendance, the final caution will lapse after a period of 12 months. The exact details of the improvements required will be discussed and agreed at this meeting. Please note that employees issued with a final caution will also not be eligible for a performance related increment for that academic year. Dismissal If you are absent again, through a reason that is not excluded, for four working days or more (or 0.8 of a working week for a part time member of staff) or on two or more occasions within 12 months of the issue of a final caution. We will write to you to attend a meeting with a Senior Post Holder to discuss your absence levels and the reason for it. You will be given the opportunity to put your case. You should be aware that, if you reach this stage, you will normally be dismissed (with notice). A decision to dismiss you will only be taken by a Senior Post Holder. The employee will be given at least ten working days written notice of this meeting, advising them that it is a formal hearing to make a decision about their continued employment with Blackpool and 10

11 the Fylde College and that they have the right to be accompanied/ represented at the hearing by a trade union representative or workplace colleague. If, for good cause the employee is unable to attend the hearing, we will endeavour to agree a new date with the employee and his/her representative. Where there is no alternative but for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the employee, his/her representative will be provided with the opportunity to present the employee s case. Arrangements for hearings 1. The employee s manager will present the case and this will include: Detailed records of sickness and absence and OHS reports; Details of meetings held and actions taken under the Attendance Policy; Details of other arrangements made by the Manager to support the employee; Any issues raised or comments expressed by the employee or their representative. 2. The employee or their representative will then have the opportunity to present their case 3. When reaching a decision about whether or not to dismiss, the Senior Post Holder will consider the following: The impact of the employee s absence on other employees or service delivery; The employee s absence record and medical advice received; Representations made by the employee and / or their representative; What actions have been taken to enable the employee to continue in employment. 4. The above list is not exhaustive and the weight attached to each will depend on the circumstances of the case, whilst balancing the needs of the employee and Blackpool and the Fylde College. 5. The employee will be informed of the result of the hearing without delay. A written decision will be sent to the employee within 5 working days of the hearing. Where the decision has been to dismiss the employee the letter will: Refer to the formal hearing to discuss the employee s high level of absence; Advise the employee that his/her level of absence can no longer be accommodated; State the effective date and that the reason for dismissal is on the grounds of capability; Indicate the contractual notice provisions the employee is entitled to receive; Refer to the employee s right of appeal and the date this should be received. Employees have the right of appeal at each formal caution stage. Employees must lodge their appeal in writing to Human Resources within 7 calendar days of receiving the appropriate warning. You will be informed of your right of appeal and your right to be accompanied at an appeal by a work colleague or trade union official. The Appeal will be heard by an appropriate level manager with a member of the HR Team in attendance. 4.9 Management of Long-Term Conditions or Injuries This section normally applies where you have a medical condition or injury that is preventing you from working normally, perhaps causing you to have frequent short-term absences or a single lengthy absence. Where it is appropriate, we aim to help employees overcome the problems they have which are stopping them from working normally. In practice this means we will: keep your absence under continuous review; maintain frequent contact with you, as and when appropriate, which may include periodic 11

12 case meetings, either at work or at home, to help keep us informed of your progress; the Head of Department will be involved in all cases of long term absence, and every effort should be made to keep the absent employee informed of events and changes occurring at the College during their period of absence; you may be referred to the College Occupational Health Adviser who may ask your permission to obtain medical reports, which may also involve you attending one or more medical examinations with a doctor or other health professional appointed by us; where appropriate, identify and consider with you possible measures which might help you to return to work earlier than might otherwise be possible; and keep any measures we have put in place under review. Research shows that the longer an employee is off sick, the less likely it is that they will ever return to work. The steps set out above are designed to help us prevent that happening and so are in everyone s interests. Therefore we expect you to co-operate fully with us in managing this kind of absence. If, in our view, you do not co-operate fully then your prospects of continued employment will be affected. Healthcare Available The College can provide support in helping employees to return to normal health, via our Occupational Health department. No Prospect of Recovery Regrettably, circumstances may arise where, because of your continuing absence, it becomes necessary to consider whether your employment should be terminated. Prior to any recommendations for dismissal a meeting will be arranged with your Head of Department or nominated deputy and a member of the HR team to consider all the circumstances, your past and probable future pattern of absence, taking into account any medical advice and the likely success of any adjustments that could reasonably be made. We will also take account of the needs of the College and the following options will be considered: redeployment to a different job; reduction in hours; career break; change of work pattern; use of appropriate adaptations; Ill Health Retirement. If it does become clear that it is unlikely that the employee will be able to return to work in the near future, then a formal meeting will be arrange with a Senior Post Holder to consider dismissal on capability grounds. A decision to dismiss you will only be taken by a Senior Post Holder. The employee will be given at least ten working days written notice of the meeting, advising them that it is a formal hearing to make a decision about their continued employment with Blackpool and the Fylde College and that they have the right to be accompanied/ represented at the hearing by a trade union representative or workplace colleague. If, for good cause the employee is unable to attend the hearing, we will endeavour to agree a new date with the employee and his/her representative. Where there is no alternative but for the hearing to proceed in the absence of the employee, his/her representative will be provided with the opportunity to present the employee s case. Arrangements for Hearings 1. The employee s manager will present the case and this will include: Detailed records of sickness and absence and OHS reports; Details of previous meetings held and any actions taken under the Attendance Policy; 12

13 Details of other arrangements made by the Manager to support the employee; Any issues raised or comments expressed by the employee or their representative. 2. The employee or their representative will then have the opportunity to present their case. 3. When reaching a decision about whether or not to dismiss, the Senior Post Holder will consider the following: The impact of the employee s absence on other employees or service delivery; The employee s absence record and medical advice received; Representations made by the employee and / or their representative; What actions have been taken to enable the employee to continue in employment, have all reasonable adjustments been explored? Is ill health retirement an option (this should have already been explored through OHS). 4. The above list is not exhaustive and the weight attached to each will depend on the circumstances of the case, whilst balancing the needs of the employee and Blackpool and the Fylde College. 5. The employee will be informed of the result of the hearing without delay. A written decision will be sent to the employee within 5 working days of the hearing. Where the decision has been to dismiss the employee the letter will: Refer to the formal hearing to discuss the employee s long term absence; Advise the employee that as there is no likelihood of them returning in the foreseeable future this absence can no longer be accommodated; State the effective date and that the reason for dismissal is on the grounds of capability; Indicate the contractual notice provisions the employee is entitled to receive; Refer to the employee s right of appeal, which will be heard by the Principal, and the date that this appeal request should be received. Employees have the right of appeal against dismissal. Employees must lodge their appeal in writing to Human Resources within 7 calendar days of receiving the decision. Employees have the right to be accompanied at an appeal by a work colleague or trade union official. Terminal Illness In cases where the medical assessment indicates that the employee is suffering from a terminal illness, it would be inappropriate to embark on formal procedures. In such circumstances, welfare assistance to the employee and his/her family will be provided as far as possible Complying with your obligations under this Policy The obligations under this policy are important in helping us achieve our business objectives. We take these obligations very seriously. If, for some reason, you do not follow the procedure, we will take the initiative to contact you. Furthermore, your absence may be treated as unauthorised, which could result in the withholding of sick pay and disciplinary action, including dismissal, being taken. It is also a condition of being eligible for any College Sick Pay that you comply with these rules by telling the College you are absent, keeping in touch throughout your absence, providing a selfcertificate and medical certificates on time and co-operating with our requests for further medical information, as set out above. In some cases you may also not be eligible for statutory sick pay. This is likely to be the case where your average earnings prior to your period of sickness fall below the lower earnings limit or where you have previously exhausted your entitlement within the last 8 weeks prior to your current absence Misconduct Whilst this policy is not a disciplinary procedure, its provisions can in some cases lead to 13

14 disciplinary action including dismissal. For example, if you claim College Sick Pay when you are not ill, this will be treated as gross misconduct and may lead to your dismissal. Furthermore, if you do not comply with your obligations under this policy, your absence may be treated as unauthorised. This is a disciplinary offence and dealt with under the College disciplinary procedure Keeping Records The College will keep records of any action taken under this policy. All records that relate to an individual s absence will be maintained in accordance with Data Protection legislation Reminder of procedure for time off for family emergencies You have the legal right to a reasonable amount of time off without pay to deal with unexpected or sudden family emergency and to make necessary longer term arrangements Further Information Further information is available from the Human Resources Department. Other policies which may link to this Policy and procedure can be found on the HR website. These include, but are not limited to: The Leave Entitlement Policy, Disciplinary Policy and Procedure, Grievance Policy and Procedure, Sick Pay Policy, Health & Safety Policy and Procedure and Policy for Managing Stress and Wellbeing in the Workplace. 14

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