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This Policy details the Organisation's philosophy towards staff time-keeping, and the rules governing absence of employees from work which will include sickness, authorised and unauthorised absences.


1.1 Employees are required to attend punctually for work in accordance with the hours defined in their Contracts of Employment.

1.2 Employees are not permitted to leave work before their contracted finishing time without permission from their immediate supervisor.

1.3 In the event of an employee requiring time away from work during their normal shift hours then he / she must report back to his / her immediate supervisor upon return to work.

1.4 Employees arriving late for work will have their wages / salary reduced accordingly, at the discretion of the Home Manager.

1.5 Persistent lateness will be considered to be a breach of the Rules & Conditions of Employment.


2.1 If a member of staff is unable to report for duty for any reason they are required to notify the Home Manager if possible by telephone before the start of the duty shift and definitely on the first day of absence. Text messaging / SMS is not an acceptable or recognised form of communication, as there is no guarantee of the communication received. It is the responsibility of all employees to keep the Home advised of the circumstances which prevent them from reporting for work, and of the likely duration of their absence.

2.2 If an employee requires to be absent from work for reasons other than sickness, then prior permission must be obtained from his / her immediate supervisor. This may cover absence for the following reasons:

2.2.1 Jury Duty / Court appearances as a witness:

The Organisation CANNOT prevent an employee from attending any form of Jury Duty, nor can the employee be victimised or suffer any detriment by the setting for attending such duty. However, the employee should notify their Manager immediately and;

  • The copy of the Court Citation must be produced;

  • If employees report for Jury Duty but are not called upon to serve on any particular day, then

  • all reasonable attempts must be made to attend work;

  • Employees should claim the maximum entitled amount from the Court to compensate for loss of earnings.

2.2.2 Leave for special circumstances:

  • Medical appointments;

  • Compassionate leave for domestic / family reasons, bereavements etc

2.3 All periods of absence will be recorded on a Staff Leave & Absence Record Form.

2.4 Any period of unauthorised absence will be considered as a breach of contract.


3.1 Periods of sickness up to 7 days will require self-certification.

3.2 All periods of absence for reasons of sickness in excess of 7 working days must be supported by a GP's Statement of Fitness for Work, which must be made available to the Manager at the earliest opportunity. The Statement of Fitness for Work will advise:

  • Unfit for work; OR

  • May be fit for work; i.e., with support, may be able to return to work.

The Statement of Fitness for Work covers advice to a future date, when the person is usually expected to return to work. Where the doctor needs to assess the person for fitness to return to work this will be stated.

3.3 Where periods of absence due to sickness extend beyond 7 days and are likely to be long-term - during the first 6 months the doctor can only cover a future maximum period of 3 months.

During a long-term period of sickness the Organisation will:

  • Keep in regular contact with the person;

  • Keep staff informed about sick pay

3.4 Where more than three periods of uncertificated absence occurs in any 12 month period employees will be required to obtain a Private Medical Certificate from their GP. This will be at the employee's own expense and must be made available to the Manager at the earliest opportunity.

3.5 If an employee is absent on the grounds of sickness for a period of 24 hours immediately following or preceding a statutory, public holiday, or authorised annual leave, then a Private Medical Certificate is required in accordance with 3.4 above. Failure to provide such a Certificate will be treated as unauthorised absence and dealt with in accordance with the Absence Policy, reference section 2. above.

3.6 Employees who accrue numerous uncertificated sick days will be subject to the Organisation’s documented disciplinary Procedure (Policy No 1202).

3.7 Persistent periods of absence due to "sickness" may lead to the Organisation investigating the reasons for the continual absence. This may involve reference to the employee's own GP or requiring the employee to undergo a medical examination by an independent GP in order to determine the employee's continuing suitability to perform his / her contractual duties. This will be invoked under the following circumstances:

3.7.1 Where the employee's overall attendance record is significantly worse than those of comparable employees.

3.7.2 Where the absence has continued for extended periods of time.

3.7.3 Where the absence creates a particular operational difficulty for the business.


4.1 All employees returning to work after absence due to sickness are required to attend a return-to-work meeting with their immediate supervisor.

4.2 The meeting will involve the employee filling out a return-to-work form and discussing anything relevant to the Setting. The immediate Supervisor must be compassionate and understanding at all times

4.3 In the instance of an employee returning to work after long-term / extended absence or after an illness that may leave the employee exposed or susceptible to mental or physical exhaustion, occupational therapy and a gradual return to work and duties should be discussed with the employee.


Form No: 1-215 Staff Leave & Absence Record

Form No: 1-216 Staff Sickness Self-Certification (Absence due to Sickness)

Form No: 4-000 Return to Work Interview – Following Absence Reported as Sickness

Form No: 4-001 Return to Work Health Questionnaire

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