MEL Health and Safety Consultants

Sickness & Absence Policies

Sickness & Absence Policies

A sickness and absence policy outlines the guidelines to be followed where an employee is absent due to sickness or injury; or is absent due to some other reason, such as to look after a dependent relative.  Our sickness and absence policies are suitable for use in England, Wales and Scotland and include the following clauses:

  • Leave entitlement
  • Rights during leave
  • Maternity pay
  • Notification of absence
  • Change of leave dates
  • Return to work
  • Keeping in touch
  • Rights on return

Statutory sick pay is paid to employees who are unable to work for at least 4 calendar days because of sickness.  It is paid by the employer for up to a maximum of 28 weeks to all employees who satisfy the conditions for payment.  The employer will ask the employee for evidence that they are sick.  For the first 7 days that an employee is sick the employee should fill in a self-certification form that can be provided as an additional document on request.  A doctor's certificate will be required for all periods of sickness of more than seven days.  As of 27th October 2008, agency workers on contracts of less than three months are not excluded from statutory sick pay.

If an employee does not qualify for statutory sick pay or statutory sick pay runs out and the employee is still sick, the employer should complete a form and give it to the employee to send to their local social security office with their claim for Incapacity Benefit.  This form can also be prepared for your business on request to enable the system to be initiated fully within your company.

By law employers are required to keep records of dates of sickness lasting at least 4 calendar days in a row, that includes periods of incapacity for work (PIW) reported by employees and records of all payments of statutory sick pay made during a PIW.  Employers are required to keep statutory sick pay records for at least 3 years after the end of the tax year to which they relate.

If you would like M.E.L. to prepare a Sickness & Absence Policy for your company, or should you wish for assistance in the implementation of a system to follow in the event of such absence, please contact a member of our expert consultancy team on 01708 555544.