Other related absence

Time off for medical appointments

Wherever possible, staff should arrange doctor, dentist and other medical appointments outside their normal working hours. Where it is not possible to arrange an appointment outside normal working hours, the employee should give the maximum prior notification to their manager. A manager may ask to see confirmation of the appointment.

Time away from work to attend doctor, dentist and other medical appointments will not be counted as sick leave but staff will normally be required by their College/Professional Service to make up the time; alternatively, if an employee is away from work for half a day or longer, then this may be recorded as sick leave (please see the University's principles on flexible working for Professional Services staff).

Any appointments for elective medical procedures performed for medical or personal reasons should be treated the same way as any other medical appointments. If the employee is off sick following elective medical procedures, then this absence will be counted as sick leave and should be self certificated or a Doctor's certificate will be required depending on the length of the absence.

Untaken annual leave

If an employee is unable to take their full contractual leave entitlement of either 39 or 41 days within the leave year (January to December) on account of sickness absence, in accordance with the Conditions of Employment relating to Annual Leave, untaken occupational leave of up to 5 days may be carried forward to the next leave year with the manager's approval. Please note that no payment can be made in lieu of untaken leave.

However, any untaken statutory leave may be carried over. Where statutory leave is carried over, there is no provision for any additioinal contractual leave (i.e. 5 days to be included in addition to this - see example 2).

Example 1: A full time employee returns to work in 2011 after being off sick for the whole of the calendar/leave year 2010: they would be able to carry forward 17 days (i.e. 28 days - 11 Bank Holidays/Closure Days which they have already been paid for).

Example 2: A full time employee returns to work in 2012 after being off sick since July 2011. Before their absence began, they had taken 5 days of their contractual leave. They would have been paid for the 11 Back Holiday/Closure Days in 2011. So they would have taken 11 + 5 = 16 days of the statutory paid leave entitlement in 2011, which means that they can carry over 12 days forward to 2012.

Example 3: Term time staff take their paid leave entitlement on unspecified dates during the vacation. In order to calculate any untaken statutory annual leave, an assumption is made that the first 9.3 days of the vacation (28 statutory days leave divided by three terms) pro rata by the number of weeks that they work in a year is their entitlement.

An employee works 36.5 hours a week for 36 weeks of the year. They are on sick leave from May 2011 until February 2012. They are therefore able to take annual leave after the Spring Term (March) but not at the end of the Summer and Autumn terms (July and December). They are therefore entitled to carry over 18.7 days pro rata statutory annual leave. They work 36/52 weeks which means that 12.95 days can be carried over minus any Bank Holidays that have already been paid.

An employee can choose to take their statutory paid annual leave and receive their normal rate of pay subject to not exceeding their contractual leave. All the leave requested must be taken before the end of the leave year and the employee must submit a written request for leave in accordance with the Working Time Regulations, i.e. two days’ notice for each day of leave requested. The period of leave will be at normal pay. Sick pay will resume at the end of the period of leave but for the purposes of University Sick Pay allowance (subsection (5) of the Conditions of Service) the period of absence will be treated as one continuous period of absence.

Instructing an employee to not attend work for medical reasons

Under the Conditions of Employment:

‘In exceptional cases, where there are concerns that the continued presence of the employee would be detrimental to their own health and safety or to that of others, the Head of College/Professional Service (or their nominee) may, in consultation with HR, instruct the employee to remain at home pending confirmation from the Occupational Health Adviser of their fitness to attend work.’

An instruction to go home will not be recorded as sick leave unless/until it is certified, either by self certificate or by a GP.

The Conditions of Employment provides for all employees who have been absent for an extended period to be cleared as fit for work before returning. An employee should not return to work before a medical certificate has expired without clearance from the Occupational Health.

Where a manager is concerned that an employee who presents themselves as fit for work should not be at work because their continued presence would be detrimental to their own health and safety or to that of others, the manager should discuss their concerns with the employee in the first instance, with a view to persuading the employee to remain at home – or to modify their work arrangements - until they can be seen by Occupational Health.

If the employee refuses to accept the manager’s proposal, then the manager should consult with HR. If it is agreed that the University’s health and safety obligations necessitate this action, then the employee will be informed in writing that they are instructed to remain off work pending confirmation from the Occupational Health Adviser of their fitness to attend work.

Where it is subsequently confirmed that the employee is unfit for work, then time spent at home under this provision will be counted as sick leave.

Such action should be taken at the following level:

  • Staff in academic roles: Dean of College or, in their absence, Deputy Vice Chancellor or in their absence Vice Chancellor
  • Support Staff in Colleges: College Manager or, in their absence, Dean of College
  • Professional Services: Director or Deputy Director or Registrar.