This policy is not intended to be comprehensive, but to act as a guide. If you have any questions about this policy, please speak to your manager in the first instance. This policy does not form part of your terms and conditions of employment and may be varied and/ or withdrawn at any time without notice.
Kelly recognises that there may be times when employees need to be absent from work due to health or other reasons. This policy has been developed to explain the Kelly approach to managing absence, and the support the we offer to help employees to return to work as soon as possible.
It is important that you read and understand this policy and follow the provisions contained within it. This policy applies to all permanent UK & Ireland employees. If you have any questions about the Kelly approach to managing absence or about how you need to report absence please speak to your manager in the first instance
You should ensure that you understand and follow the absence reporting procedure for every absence.
It is important that if you are absent from work due to sickness that you behave in a manner consistent with the reason for your absence. You should act sensibly regarding any participation in sports, hobbies and/or other activities that could worsen your condition and/or delay your recovery. If you are in any doubt, please seek further advice from your medical practitioner.
If you are absent from work you should attend meetings as requested by your manager, where possible. These will usually take place within your normal working hours.
_Absence Reporting Procedure
If you are unable to attend work for any reason you should contact your manager to let them know. You must call your manager (or another designated manager) at least 15 minutes before the time that you are scheduled to start work. If you work in an area of the business which requires more notice to be given due to operational reasons your manager will make you aware of this and you should follow your local absence reporting requirements.
You should make sure that you are clear on who you need to call if you are unable to attend work and have the appropriate contact numbers. Texts and emails are not acceptable forms of contact. Messages from another person are not acceptable unless it is not possible for you to make contact yourself, for example if you are in hospital.
When calling your manager, you should be ready to provide them with the following information:
o The reason for your absence and how long you expect to be absent from work o Your telephone number or other contact details so that your manager can contact you during your absence o Details of any urgent work or outstanding work that will need attention before you return to work
If you are not able to speak to your line manager, then you should speak to another manager within your team or department and provide them with the details given above. If your absence is due to a sensitive medical issue which you would prefer to discuss with a manager of the same sex, the you should contact the Human Resources (HR) department.
Please be aware that failing to follow the absence reporting procedure is a serious matter and could result in the withholding of Company Sick Pay (CSP) and disciplinary action being taken against you, up to and including dismissal. Please make sure that you understand the reporting requirements and know how to contact your manager if you are unable to attend work.
_Keeping in touch
During the initial call to your manager you should agree with them how you will stay in contact during your absence.
During the first week of absence you should contact your manager daily, unless you both agree otherwise. If your absence lasts for longer than a week, you should agree regular contact intervals. The purpose of this contact is for your manager to find out how you are feeling and to offer you support during your absence. You should stay in contact with your manager in addition to any contact made through absence review meetings or providing fit notes. At the least, you should contact your manager on the day before your fit note is due to expire to advise them whether or not you will be returning to work.
You should keep your manager updated with any new information about your health and your progress towards recovery. You should let your manager know if your doctor gives any likely timescales for your return to work. If you feel that the reasons for your absence are connected to your work, please talk to your manager about this as soon as possible so that they can try to resolve your concerns.
You can self-certify your absence up to and including 7 (2 days in Ireland) calendar days. This is done by completing the Self-certification form which is available on the Intranet.
If you are absent for 7 (2 in Ireland) or more days you will need to provide a fit note from your doctor to cover your absence from the 8th day (3rd day for Ireland employees) onwards.
If you have been referred to the Fit for Work Service through your GP and they have provided you with a return to work plan, this can be accepted as certification of your absence and so you will not need to provide a separate fit note for this duration. You don’t have to share your return to work plan with your manager, but if you choose not to then you will still need to provide a fit note to certify your absence.
Your doctors/ specialist recommendations will be considered by the Company and accommodated where possible.
Please be aware that any period of absence which is not covered by self-certification, fit note or return to work plan will be treated as an unauthorised absence which will be investigated and may result in the withholding of pay and lead to disciplinary action being taken, up to and including dismissal.
Details about your sick pay entitlement can be found in your contract of employment. If you need further information, please speak to your manager. Kelly pays Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) in accordance with statutory requirements and CSP where required under our contractual arrangements with eligible employees.
If you qualify to receive SSP, the CSP will be paid as the difference between SSP and your normal wage. Further information regarding entitlements to SSP can be found at https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay.
If you are considering undergoing voluntary surgery you should discuss this with your manager. In some circumstances CSP may not be paid for this period. If this is the case, you may be able to take annual leave to cover this period.
If you are compelled by a medical authority to be absent from work following contact with a notifiable disease you should notify your manager as soon as possible. This will be classed as paid leave and will not count towards the calculation of sickness absence triggers.
Kelly reserves the right to withhold payment of CSP in certain circumstances, which may include failure to follow the absence reporting procedure without good reason, failure to provide a required fit note, if there is evidence that you are behaving in a manner inconsistent with the reason for your absence or engaging in activities likely to exacerbate or prolong your condition.
CSP may also be withheld if you are absent from work due to sickness pending any investigation, disciplinary or performance procedures. Please refer to the Disciplinary Procedure and Performance Improvement Policy for further information. SSP may be withheld where the rules governing this payment have not been met.
If at any point it is agreed that you are entitled to additional sick pay, this will be paid in the next available payroll with no ad-hoc payments. This includes any decisions to pay CSP where previously only SSP was paid.
To help Kelly to manage your attendance and/ or support your health while you are in work, you may be asked to agree to a medical consultation with our Occupational Health provider or a specialist nominated by the company. You will be asked to agree to disclose any report produced about this consultation to us. You do not have to agree to attend a medical consultation, however if you do not your absence will be managed based on the information available to us at the time.
Once you have agreed to attend a medical consultation, it is important that you attend the scheduled appointment. If you need to cancel or reschedule the appointment you should contact Occupational Health and your manager giving at least 2 clear days’ notice, not including the date of notification and the date of your appointment. For example, if your appointment is scheduled for a Thursday, you must give notification on the Monday if you are unable to attend. If your appointment is on a Wednesday, you should give notification the previous Friday if you need to reschedule.
If you fail to attend a scheduled appointment without good reason, or do not give your manager at least 2 clear days’ notice that you need to change the appointment, then you may be charged the cost of the missed appointment and your CSP could be withheld until you have attended a rescheduled appointment.
_Return to work discussions
Following every absence your manager will meet with you on your return to work to discuss how you are feeling and if there are any adjustments suggested on your fit note. This meeting will take place on the day you return to work or as soon as possible after this.
You should update your manager with the reason for your absence, and discuss any concerns you may have. It is important that you tell your manager if you think there may be underlying reasons for your absence, or if you were absence for a work-related reason.
Kelly operates a system of absence triggers to manage persistent short-term absence. If you reach one of the absence triggers detailed below, this will be managed in accordance with the Disciplinary Procedure.
o Three or more periods of absence and/ or 6 or more days, excluding pregnancy-related absence, within a 3-month period (please note that any sickness absence within your probation period will be paid at SSP only (where applicable) and may result in your employment being terminated due to failed probation) o Where there is a noticeable pattern of absence, i.e. before/ after holidays, seasonal, in line with major events, etc. This will be investigated upon your return to work o If you have a live warning on file for absence and have further periods of absence
If you reach one of these absence triggers, you will be invited to a formal meeting to discuss your absence. If your absence is found to be at an unacceptable level you may be issued with a warning under as outlined below;
o Verbal Warning - You will normally be given a verbal warning (meeting of concern) from your manager, following 2 periods of sickness, to inform you that your absence is reaching an unacceptable standard and improvement is required. The warning will be recorded and kept on your file for 6 months.
o First Written Warning - This will normally be issued where your attendance has breached acceptable standards. The outcome letter will set out the standard of attendance you are expected to achieve throughout the warning period. This warning will remain on your file but will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after 9 months, should you demonstrate an improved/ sustainable level of attendance.
o Final Written Warning - If you fail to meet the expected level of attendance, following the previous warning, you will normally receive a final written warning. This warning will remain on your file but will be disregarded for disciplinary purposes after 12 months, if you are able to improve/ sustain a satisfactory level of attendance.
The outcome letter will advise you what you need to do to improve your absence levels. Further periods of absence may result in further formal meetings being held and you may be issued with higher levels of warning.
You will not be eligible for any salary increases during the period of any live warnings. TCRs are annual and if missed, you will be included in the following year (provided you have no further warnings). Ad-hoc increases will be agreed on merit and begin from the agreed date.
o Dismissal - If you still fail to improve your absence to the required levels after being issued with previous warnings, it could result in the termination of your employment.
Kelly is committed to supporting employees who have a disability to give them the opportunity to perform at their best while at work and takes its legal obligations regarding reasonable adjustments very seriously.
The Equality Act 2010 defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on an individual’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. If you consider that you have a disability, you should discuss this with your manager. Your manager will meet with you to discuss any changes or adjustments that might need to be made to your role or working pattern to ensure that you are not being treated less favourably to other employees.
Common adjustments are temporary or permanent changes to working hours or start and finish times, allocation of some duties to employees, provision of specialist or adaptive equipment or amending systems of working.
If you are absent from work due to disability-related illness, you should tell your manager so that they can put in place appropriate measures to support you in work and help to minimise your absence. They may refer you to Occupational Health for advice on how Kelly can best support you and if there are any reasonable adjustments which we can make to your work.
In certain situations, it may be appropriate, once all other reasonable adjustments have been made, to agree a revised absence trigger with you for absences related to a disability or discount these absences altogether for the purposes of calculating absences triggers. This will depend on your specific circumstances and if you have any questions or concerns about disability-related short-term absence you should discuss these with your manager.
_Sickness & holidays
If you become ill before a period of pre-booked holiday, to the extent that you would not be able to take your holiday, you may request that this period of holiday is cancelled and that you are recorded as being absent from work due to sickness. You will then be able to take that period of holiday at another time. You must follow the absence reporting procedure, otherwise you may not be able to change your holidays to sickness, even if you are taken ill abroad. You should be aware that if your holidays are changed to sickness, this absence will still count towards any absence triggers.
If you are abroad you should agree with your manager how you will stay in contact with them, considering factors such as your access to a telephone or computer and the time difference between the two locations. If you are absent for over 7 consecutive days, you are still required to provide a medical certificate to cover this period of absence, just as you would if were ill whilst in the UK.
If you are absent from work and you have not taken your holidays during the leave year, you may carry forward a maximum of 20 days (pro-rated for part time) holiday into the next leave year. You should discuss arrangements for this with your manager. Holidays which are carried over must be used within 18 months of the end of the holiday year in which they were accrued.
_TIme off for medical appointments
You should try to arrange GP and/ or dentist appointments outside your normal working hours or, where this is not possible, at the start or end of your working day to minimise disruption. If you do need to attend an appointment during working hours, you should give your manager as much notice as you can and provide a copy of your appointment card where possible.
Leave for these kinds of appointment may be paid or unpaid, subject to the discretion of your manager. Where your manager grants you unpaid leave, you may be able to make up the time or take annual leave to cover the time that you are away from work. Hospital appointments should be arranged outside of normal working time where possible.
However, if they do fall during your normal working hours your manager will try to re-arrange your working time or you will receive paid time off to attend the appointment. Wherever possible you should attend work before and after the appointment time.
Kelly recognises that health concerns and/ or medical conditions can have a significant impact on your work and/ or personal life and you may need extra support and guidance in managing these. The Aviva Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) offers a 24hr helpline with experts who can give you personal support and guidance on all manner of issues, including health concerns. They can also offer counselling either over the telephone or face-to-face where appropriate. You can contact the EAP on 0800 015 5630 or download the free EAP in your pocket mobile app, using the access code AVIVAIYP1116.
All employee data is handled in line with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 2018.