Can work implement this absence policy

(14 Posts)
Raspberryfrog Mon 09-Sep-19 23:52:12

Had a memo from work that states the new sickness policy
12 hours notice is needed to be off sick
If we are off sick we need to ring round staff and find someone to cover our shift
If it’s an emergency or sudden sickness we need an doctors note from A & E or the GP or our absence will not be accepted.
If we are suddenly off with a child we will also need a gps note to prove they are ill.
Is this legal?

OP’s posts: |
daisychain01 Tue 10-Sep-19 05:06:06

The timescales are concerning as are the hoops a sick person will have to jump through. Has the employer entered into any consultation with staff - and Unions if relevant?

They are effectively saying the employee needs to preplan being ill, so ringing up to report sickness if you wake up feeling poorly is a no-no.

They are passing the burden onto the sick employee to arrange cover, when they are at home, sick. That's the responsibility of the employer to do, no different from taking annual leave.

They've arbitrarily overlooked the law relating to self certification, if their policy now states every sickness has to be covered by a GP Fit Note, irrespective of self cert for the first 7days. This has a financial burden for employees, as GPs can charge to produce a Fitnote prior to the 7 day threshold.

They sound hateful!

flumpybear Tue 10-Sep-19 05:22:51

I'd be finding a new job! I'm sure that's not legal - you can't sort cover out for sickness, ridiculous!

Graphista Tue 10-Sep-19 05:42:58

Completely unreasonable!

Unfortunately with how employee rights have been decimated in recent years I'm not sure of legality.

Contact acas they will know.

Better still if you are in a union see what they have to say on the matter especially if there's a number of you there in the same Union.

Better to know your rights for definite before you argue the toss.

Unfairly puts extra burden on the Nhs too! GP's don't need to be seeing their employees or employees children every time they have a bug!

Graphista Tue 10-Sep-19 05:46:33

From acas site

If a worker is absent due to sickness for seven days or less they can self-certify their absence. This means the worker informs their employer that they are not well enough to work and do not need to provide any further medical evidence

That suggests to me it may be illegal

blackcat86 Tue 10-Sep-19 06:20:36

Very unreasonable and a lot of doctors would refuse to do a note when you can self certify. I actually had this when I broke my foot and even though they knew I would need at least 4 weeks off, I still had to wait 7 days until I could no longer self certify for a sick note. The same goes for a child. A gp wont easily write a note because little timmy has a cold one day and cant go to school. Surely parental leave is unpaid anyway so I dont see why they would feel the need to make it so difficult. As others have said, I'd be finding a new job.

TokyoSushi Tue 10-Sep-19 06:25:49

Dreadful, completely unreasonable and most likely illegal

Tartan333 Tue 10-Sep-19 06:31:47

That surely can't be right!! Sickness can happen very quickly, bugs, migraines, all sorts of ill health, 12 hours notice is unreasonable in a lot of instances and it's management's role and responsibility to cover.

cricketmum84 Tue 10-Sep-19 06:35:23

They will just end up with lots of people going into work sick because they can't arrange cover or meet that ridiculous notification period. Sickness spreads and then everyone is poorly.

Not sure where you stand from a legal perspective but I would definitely be getting in touch with acas for some proper advice.

There was a random rule at one of my previous employers that you wouldn't be paid for sickness immediately after a bank holiday if you didn't have a GP's note.

Plexie Tue 10-Sep-19 07:06:02

Also, personal telephone numbers are 'personal data' under GDPR so they have to abide by that in how they and their employees handle that data. I doubt they can compel you to share your number with other other staff for anything other than as emergency contact details. A way round that is for them to give each member of staff a work mobile phone. Are they proposing that?

The 12 hour notice is impractical to the point of being illogical, but what I think it means is that they won't accept staff as being officially sick on their first day of sickness. As PPs have said, GPs won't issue certificates because employees are supposed to self-certify short absences. What is your employer intending to log these sickness absences as, if not sickness? Unauthorised absence? Absent without pay? Will that lead to disciplinary action? Good luck to them trying to get that past an employment tribunal. However, if you want to comply, send them a letter giving notice that you might be ill on the following dates, and then list each date for the following year. Repeat on an annual basis.

CloudsCanLookLikeSheep Tue 10-Sep-19 08:29:25

Not sure how you can know 12 hours beforehand that you'll be ill. A lot can change in 12 hours!

As for arranging cover, that should be management's job.

They will soon see this has not been well thought through if they try to implement this.

GreatBigNoise Tue 10-Sep-19 11:54:34

Have they worded it carefully? Lots of 'it would be helpful if you could...' 'if possible...' etc

SayOohLaLa Tue 10-Sep-19 12:05:49

I doubt your employer has conisdered the GDPR implications of this. How would you arrange shift cover without being given details of colleagues, who may not choose to share their contact details with you. I wouldn't agree to be called at home the night before a shift.

nowayhose Tue 10-Sep-19 16:05:54

Who on earth do you work for ? sad

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