Many employers now use their own self-certification system for short term sickness absences. As doctors no longer issue medical certificates, now known as medical statements or 'fit notes' (unless paid for) for absences shorter than 8 days, a company self-certification system can be an effective method of controlling absence due to sickness. It also assists in the maintenance of accurate sickness records which all employers are required to keep for Statutory Sick Pay purposes. The following represents a model procedure:
These rules apply to employees who are absent from work due to personal sickness or injury. The existing company rules will continue to apply to all absences for other reasons, e.g. for family or personal reasons.
If you are unable to report for work you should telephone or send a message to your supervisor if possible before 10.00am on the first day of absence. You should give brief details of your illness or injury and indicate the probable duration of your absence from work.
In the case of absence lasting 7 days or less (including weekends and public holidays) you should obtain a company self-certification form from your supervisor or manager immediately on your return to work. The form must be completed and signed in the presence of your supervisor or manager whom you should ask to countersign it.
All sickness absences in excess of 7 consecutive days are to be covered by doctors' medical statements which must be forwarded to the company without delay.
The company may require you to undergo examination by a qualified medical practitioner in cases of lengthy or frequent absences.
If you are eligible for sick pay under the company's own scheme, payments made for self-certified absences will be set against your annual sick pay entitlement.
The company may wish to approach your doctor for a medical report, but will always obtain your written consent prior to contacting your doctor.
Special rules apply if you are sick or injured during or immediately prior to taking pre-arranged annual holiday entitlement. These rules apply to your statutory minimum holiday entitlement under the Working Time Regulations and not to any additional holiday entitlement granted by us in your contract of employment.
If you are sick or injured immediately prior to taking your pre-arranged holiday entitlement, you must inform, or arrange for someone else to inform your supervisor by 10.00am GMT on the first day of your sickness or injury of your condition and state whether you wish to postpone your pre-arranged holiday entitlement to a later date. Thereafter you must inform, or arrange for someone else to inform your supervisor by 10.00am GMT on each day that you are sick or injured if you regard yourself to be unable to work.
If you are sick or injured during your pre-arranged holiday entitlement, you must inform, or arrange for someone else to inform your supervisor by 10.00am GMT on the first day of your sickness or injury of your condition and state whether they wish to receive additional days' holiday entitlement in lieu of the period of time you are sick or injured whilst on annual leave. Thereafter you must inform, or arrange for someone else to inform your supervisor by 10.00am GMT on each day that you are sick or injured if you regard yourself to be unable to work.
Sickness or injury is defined as a state of health that would prevent an employee from carrying out their normal duties.
Any claim for payment of sick pay and to postpone any pre-arranged holiday leave or to claim holiday leave in lieu of a period of time whilst you are sick or injured will only be granted on the condition that you comply with the above notification requirements and provide us with a doctor's note or other official medical evidence, which is satisfactory to us, describing the illness or injury, providing an opinion on whether you are not fit for work (taking into consideration the type of work undertaken by you) and advising on the length of time they recommend that the you will be unable to work. The doctor's note or other medical evidence must come from an independent source and not a friend or relative.
If we discover that your or the medical evidence supporting it is in any way untrue or in breach of our policy then the employee will be disciplined in accordance with our disciplinary procedure and may be dismissed.
Sick pay may be withheld where there is suspected abuse of the self-certification system.
To appeal against any decision of the company to withhold sick pay, or to take disciplinary action under these rules, you should raise the matter under the company's grievance procedure.
The company retains the right to change or amend these rules by giving reasonable notice of such changes and amendments to employees covered by them.