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05-07-2006, 01:39 PM   #1
adrianMP

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Default staff sickness

a tricky one this, and probably many ways to solve it, but grateful for any advice.
1 member of staff, on payroll only 8m, has been taking the odd day here and there and this behaviour has persistently increased of late. we had a 3m trial period , during which she was fine! some lame excuses and we all have the feeling that she is "trying it on", but her GP has provided sick notes for the recent weeks illness, a "cold". Our disciplinary policy has been scrutinied but it is always difficult to face a problem of this sort. should I confront her? and what have others done in similar situations, without invoking any bad feeling. obviuosly the rest of the staff need to know that we can deal with this problem satisfactorily, else they might all copy her!
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05-07-2006, 03:44 PM   #2
paula sterling-stead

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Default Re: staff sickness

I have the same problem. try doing back to work interview. it's a tad more formal and gets them thinking. Well hope so. Also re inforce SSP.
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05-07-2006, 04:54 PM   #3
Tracy Hancox

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Wink Re: staff sickness

One of our Doctors does private Occ. Hth work; some patients come to him for a report because of sporadic sick-leave, rather than a single prolonged period.

We did have a problem once with one member of staff taking rather a lot of "odd days". We obtained her permission and wrote to her GP for a report on her sickness certification and prognosis for future attendance. We had to pay for this, and the GP was only too happy to help. The problem disappeared after that - read into that what you will!
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03-08-2006, 12:11 PM   #4
judigreen

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Default Re: staff sickness

We had a similar problem with someone OK in probationary period and then off more than average. identified a pattern to the days off - Fridays or Mondays. Other staff almost predicted when member of staff would be off. there was also a certificate involved on the last occasion but still did an interview. We pointed out the number of absences in the period with us, also the pattern and asked if there were any problems causing these that we could help with. We documented this as informal but monitored and reviewed. When absences continued with no real explanation we started disciplinary. problem continued and we ended up dismissing.
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03-08-2006, 04:03 PM   #5
SREI

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Default Re: staff sickness

Not sure if it is of help, but I have experienced this in the past. One of our GPs is also an OHSAS doctor for a large local employer. They use a scoring system called "The Bradford Factor" for sickness absence and basically it counts periods of absence as well as number of days. You select a score which triggers a referral to OHSAS or an interview, or whatever action you want. Just type Bradford factor into a search engine. I am using it now for staff and it is easy to call people in to discuss absences armed with comparative data
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03-08-2006, 04:09 PM   #6
SREI

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Default Re: staff sickness

Not sure if it is of help, but I have experienced this in the past. One of our GPs is also an OHSAS doctor for a large local employer. They use a scoring system called "The Bradford Factor" for sickness absence and basically it counts periods of absence as well as number of days. You select a score which triggers a referral to OHSAS or an interview, or whatever action you want. Just type Bradford factor into a search engine. I am using it now for staff and it is easy to call people in to discuss absences armed with comparative data
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08-08-2006, 04:46 PM   #7
annie

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Default Re: staff sickness

Not sure if this helps, but it has recently taken me over 15 months to legally dismiss a staff member due to long term sickness, which started with taking the odd day here and there as you describe.
I took legal advice eventually and - Lessons I learned were
Staff contracts should contain something about " continued odd day sickness absences will be discussed upon return to work with line manager", & ensure the contract has something which states how many paid sick days are allowed each year, also for every episode of sickness a certificate is required)
You should always speak with a person upon their return to work about their reason for their absence, this can be recorded on their annual sickness record sheet. If this repeats itself you are well within your right to discuss your concerns over her sickness.
If staff morale is affected by others having to cover her sickness, or indeed if you are left short of cover - discuss this with her and let her know how her absences are affecting her collaegues.
As others have advised, you can write to her GP - but you need her permission to do this.
I rang ACAS in the early days and they were brilliant.
Hope this helps and good luck
Annie
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14-08-2006, 04:22 PM   #8
Gwyn

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Default Re: staff sickness

I do not know if this is useful but it may give you some guidance for your sickness absence problem. I have tried to adapt it from the PCT guidance your attention is draw to section 3 that gives you direct guidlines to follow. Hope it helps.
Attached Files
File Type: doc Sickness Absence Policy.doc (132.5 KB, 91 views)
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21-09-2006, 09:50 AM   #9
Ed_H

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Thumbs up Re: staff sickness

Hi
I have had similar problems and it does seem like you can't sack anyone nowadays unless they've murdered somebody!
We've gone thru the usual stuff: return to work interviews, referral to GPs and occ health, visiting them during sickness etc.
The bradford factor has a bit of a bad press and can work against you. If you can work out trigger points then so can staff and they can calculate just how much sick they can take without your taking action!
The only two things that seem to have had any impact is:
showing the employee their sickness reocrd compared to the practice average in a graph form. When they see it in black and white they can't argue there is a problem.
Regular sickness review meetings. meeting with them every 3 months and reviewing their sickness absence. Its time consuming but keeps the pressure on them and it does work.
Best of luck!
Ed Hinde
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