Sickness Absence Management:  A Short Guide for Managers

This short guide is intended only to provide a quick overview of sickness absence management for managers.  The University has a clear and documented procedure for the formal management of short-term and long-term sickness absence and full information can be found in the University's Sickness Absence Guidelines.  Guidance on all matters relating to sickness absence is available from the Human Resources Division.

Reporting and recording sickness absence

·         As early as possible on the first day of absence, staff members should contact their line manager to inform them when they became ill, the nature of their illness and the likely date of return, and should keep their manager informed of progress.

·         For absences of seven days or less, employees should complete a Personal Sickness Certificate.

·         For absences of more than seven days employees must obtain a medical certificate (fit note) and submit it to their line manager.

·         The line manager is responsible for ensuring sickness absence records are maintained and passed to the appropriate departmental contact

Payment during a period of sickness

Information on contractual sick pay can be found in the Terms and Conditions of employment.  Information on Statutory Sick Pay.

Return to work

Within 48 hours of an employee returning to work, the line manager should meet with them to conduct a return to work interview, to ensure:

·         The member of staff is welcomed back to the workplace.

·         The employee has an opportunity to discuss any issues affecting their health and attendance.

·         Further actions or interventions are identified, such as support mechanisms, occupational health referrals or follow-up meetings.

Sickness absence during annual leave

·         A member of staff who falls ill during a period of planned annual leave will normally be required to provide a medical certificate/fit note.

·         The balance of annual leave may be taken after return to work, as agreed with the line manager and the Human Resources Division.

Occupational Health referrals

The Human Resources Division is able to refer employees to Occupational Health for guidance on:

·         How health issues might be affecting an employee's ability to undertake their role

·         The likely duration of an absence, and recommendations of support and assistance to facilitate a return to work

·         Whether reasonable adjustments can be put in place to support employees with disabilities in accessing the workplace and undertaking their role