Absence Management Presentation

January 8, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Science, Health Science, Sports Medicine
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Absence Management – the Legal Side!

1. Statistics (CBI stats on 2010)  190 million days lost, £17bn  Sickness absence increased in 2010, despite fit notes  Two-thirds believe fit notes not helped  6.5 days average (8.1 public sector/5.9 private sector)  “Sickies” – 30.4m days, £2.7 bn

2. Managing Absence  Short term persistent  Long term

 Disability related  Unauthorised  The “sickie”

3. Key Foundations  Rules and procedures  Absence management (capability) policy - reporting sickness - provision of self-certification/fit notes - return to work interviews - sick pay provisions - provision for medical examinations [cont…]

4. Key Foundations (cont) - rehabilitation and EAPs - trigger mechanisms, ie. Bradford Factor or variations - procedure for handling long term and disability-related - consequences for unauthorised absences/non-genuine absence

5. Managing Short Term Persistent Absences    

Self-certification forms Return to work interviews Trigger mechanisms Bradford factor – measure absenteeism, tackle short frequent and unplanned absences – more disruptive  Warning procedure [cont ...]

6. Managing Short Term Persistent Absences (cont)  International Sports Co Ltd v. Thomson – dismissal fair as long as fair review of attendance record, chance to make representations and forewarned about dismissal if things do not improve  Watch out for underlying health condition – may change reasonableness of warning process

7. Bradford Factor or Similar Trigger Mechanisms     

B = (SxS) x D B = Bradford Score S = number of instances of absence in set period D = number of days absence in set period Eg. one instance of 10 days absence = 10 points / 10 instances of 1 day absences = 1000 points  Trigger points set at level where employer deems absence levels unacceptable  Take care – disability discrimination and need to make reasonable adjustments, dependant care leave

8. Unauthorised and Sickies  Unauthorised – failure to follow sickness absence procedures – unless just reason = conduct issue, not capability and so adopt disciplinary process with warning  Non-genuine illness – difficult, need evidence of malingering, each case turns on its own facts, may need to get medical input where allegation of “exaggeration” – see Pacey v. Caterpillar Logistics Services (UK) Ltd 2011

9. Long Term Sick – Key Principles

 Regular contact (ACAS and CIPD) – sympathetic approach  Rehabilitation and return to work strategies (CIPD)  Medical investigation (ACAS and CIPD) – occupational health, not GPs  Consider AMRA 1988 – “medical report” defined as one prepared by medical practitioner who is or has been responsible for the clinical care of employee [cont]

10. Long Term Sick – Key Principles (cont)  Be clear about sick pay arrangements (ACAS)  Consultation (ACAS and CIPD)  Return to work plans including adjustments and alternative work (ACAS and CIPD)  Forewarning that employment is at risk (ACAS)

11. Fair Dismissal  “Capability” – fair reason  Reasonableness  Adopt key principles of consultation, investigation and alternatives  Nature, length and effect of illness  Cause of illness – RBS v. McAdie 2008 – “irrelevant” but may need to go extra mile  Length of service – more tolerance to hardworking/longer serving employees (Clarke v. Pickering Kenyon 1993) [cont…]

12. Fair Dismissal (cont)  Importance of the job/feasibility of temporary replacements  Effect on other employees, output and sales  Size of organisation and administrative resources  Health and safety considerations  Sick pay – arrangements do not indicate the amount of sickness absence employee entitled to  Entitlement to permanent health insurance – implied right not to be dismissed

13. Disabilities  Equality Act 2010  Physical or mental, long term and substantial effect on ability to carry out day to day activities  Removed need that impairment must affect one or more specified capacities – easier to satisfy definition  Long term – 12 months or “likely” to be 12 months  “Likely” = “could well happen” (SCA Packaging Ltd v. Boyle 2009)  NB – includes fluctuating and recurring conditions [cont…]

14. Disabilities (cont)  Long term absence dismissals run the risk of indirect discrimination, discrimination arising from a disability and a failure to make reasonable adjustments  Defence to indirect and discrimination arising from a disability = objective justification  Likely that the defence of objective justification will overlap with obligation to make reasonable adjustments

15. Disability Discrimination  Dismissal may be fair but breach of EA 2010  Separate considerations  Disability discrimination does not prevent an employer dismissing an employee absent due to ill health which is a disability (Royal Liverpool Children’s NHS Trust v. Dunsby 2006) – just need to justify dismissal [cont …]

16. Disability Discrimination (cont)  Detailed consideration of alternatives and reasonable adjustments – need occupational health input and consult with employee  “Adjustment(s)” must be effective to remove disadvantage  Sick pay – O’Hanlon v. Commissioners for HMRC 2007

Taylors Solicitors Employment Team

Oliver McCann – Elaine Hurn Rawlings House Exchange Street BLACKBURN BB1 7JN

Ninth Floor 80 Mosley Street MANCHESTER M2 3FX

Tel: 0844 8000 263 www.taylors.com

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