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My HR Knowledge Bank

Welcome to My HR Knowledge Bank.  You will find frequently asked questions on all current HR Policies and procedures, links to all policies, useful forms, guidelines and toolkits.

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An employee has had one absence of 19 days, it is their first absence in three years of employment should they be referred for a 2nd stage interview?

All absences should be considered on an individual basis, taking into account of the circumstances and the nature of the illness.

Whilst 19 days absence would fall within the trigger points stipulated, these trigger points are only a guide to managers and previous absence patterns should be taken into account.


An employee has to stay at home the day before going into hospital to prepare for treatment (e.g. drink a solution). Is this absence classed as sickness or will annual leave have to be taken?

Employees are entitled to attend hospital appointments and this would not be classed as a sickness absence.  If, in exceptional circumstances they are required to undertake preparatory procedures prior to attending then a decision should be taken, dependent on the procedure required, and the nature of the employment.

If time off is agreed it would not be classed as sickness absence but leave of absence with pay.


Are injuries at work included in the 2nd stage triggers?

Regardless of whether the injury was sustained at work or not, it is an absence and treated as such, the triggers and monitoring will be discussed with the employee who will be supported in the appropriate way by their manager.


Can an employee be dismissed for frequent sickness absences?

The procedures within the Sickness Absence Policy should be followed in order to address the frequent and intermittent absences.

If no improvement has been made, then disciplinary action can be taken using the Disciplinary Rules Policy.

If the absences continue and there is a failure to improve attendance it may result in dismissal.

Both Council policies can be accessed here.


Can an employee return to work before their Statement of Fitness to Work (Fit Note) expires?

Yes, if the manager is in agreement. If the employee has been off work for a period of time they may be required to attend Occupational Health e.g. for advice on a phased return, before being allowed to return.


Does an employee have to have been seen by the Independent Registered Medical Practitioner before attending an Ill Health Capability Hearing?

Yes, as the independent medical opinion would be required.


Does an injury at work affect sick pay?

If reported as an 'industrial injury' then for pay purposes the absence would be treated in isolation and full entitlement will be effective i.e. no reduction of any previous absence in the last 12 months - unless there has been a previous industrial injury within that period. 

Employees should ensure that an accident/incident form is completed as soon as possible.


If a manager has concerns that an employee is unfit for work even though their GP has signed them fit for work, what action can be taken?

In these circumstances you should contact Human Resources as soon as possible for appropriate advice.


If an employee goes on holiday whilst reporting sick, is this classed as sickness or leave?

It will be classed as sickness (and will need to continue to be supported by appropriate medical certificates).

It is the employee's responsibility to inform the manager and Human Resources if they are going on holiday as they need to be available to attend appointments at Occupational Health and welfare meetings; there is a charge of £50 if Occupational Health appointments are missed.


If an employee is absent for some time should they be contacted?

If an employee has been absent for 14 days their manager should refer them to the Occupational Health and Wellbeing Unit.

The manager should keep in regular contact in line with the Absence Management Policy and regular welfare visits should be arranged, ideally on a monthly basis and on receipt of updated medical advice.

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