Following extensive discussions with recognised Trade Unions we are pleased to launch a new policy in relation to attendance. We are now in the process of transitioning to this new policy with immediate effect.
The current Codes of Practice for sickness absence will continue to be used for existing 'live' cases but all new casework will now be managed under the new policy. This new policy is currently being prepared for inclusion on our web pages, however in the meantime managers should seek advice from HR on any new cases until they are available online.
The new policy aims to simplify and speed up current processes without diluting any current safeguards to encourage and support managers to engage in active dialogue with staff at the earliest opportunity.
A copy of the New Attendance Policy and Procedure (effective from 1 February 2017) can be found below.
One of the conditions of Queen Mary's sickness absence scheme is that staff who are unable to attend work because of a medical condition must comply with the sickness notification procedure [PDF 26KB].
You can also find information on these pages about the new "fit note" [DOC 342KB] introduced by the Government in April 2010.
Temporary Change to GP Certification between 10th December 2021 and 26th January 2022 Only
The government temporarily amended the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) regulations so that employees were not required to provide GP certificates (also known as statements of fitness for work) for the first 28 days of any period of sickness absence from work. The changes applied only to periods of sickness absence which commenced on or between 10th December 2021 and 26th January 2022. The University also applied this change to occupational sick pay entitlements. This meant that employees were able to self-certificate for the first 4 weeks (28 days) of sickness absence from work (normally it is for the first 7 days only). A GP certificate was therefore only required from day 29 of absence onwards. The change was a temporary measure to maximise GP capacity to support the coronavirus vaccine booster programme and to relieve pressure on the NHS during the winter period. Periods of sickness absence commencing on or after 27th January 2022 have now reverted back to the usual 7-day self-certification period.
Support for Employees Transitioning at Work
New guidance is available for employees who are transitioning at work. At Queen Mary we want to ensure that we are supporting our trans and non-binary staff through their transition by providing guidance on time off for appointments. Trans employees may undergo treatment, which can include hormone therapy and surgery and this may require taking time off work.
Time off to attend hospital and/or doctor’s appointments which take place during part of the working day will not be counted as sick leave. Time taken during working hours for the above appointments will be paid and the dates and times of the appointments will be recorded but will not be recorded as sickness absence. Time away from work for surgery and recovery from surgery will be recorded as sickness absence, but will not be counted in relation sickness indicators for absence monitoring or trigger the formal sickness absence procedure.
The Attendance Policy has not yet been updated to reflect this new guidance but will be updated in due course.