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Sickness absence

Staff are required to:

  • notify their nominated supervisor or Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Director of Services as soon as reasonably practicable on the first day of absence by telephone or message; and to give an expected date of return or when they will be able to call again with further information. Notification should be made in person if possible.
  • obtain a medical certificate for all periods of absence in excess of one week (including weekends) and complete, sign and forward it promptly to their supervisor or Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Director of Services.
  • notify their supervisor or Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Director of Services whether or not they will be returning to work at the expiry of a medical certificate and, if appropriate, forward a further medical certificate, as above.

Failure to comply with the above notification requirements (including renewal notification) without good cause may result in the University withholding sick pay for each day for which notification is late.

Failure to comply with notification requirements may be treated as a disciplinary matter.

Managers/supervisors and sickness co-ordinators are responsible for recording the start date of sickness absence in iTrent, and on returning to work staff members will complete an electronic self-certification form.

Where staff members do not have access to emails or i-trent they are required to follow the process highlighted on the sickness web pages.

The University may refer an employee to be examined by the Occupational Health Service or a doctor nominated by the University where there are concerns about their health or level of attendance. 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 Pro Vice Chancellor/Director of Service may, in consultation with Human Resources, instruct the employee to remain at home pending confirmation from the Occupational Health Adviser of their fitness to attend work.

Any payment of sickness allowance is subject to a refund to the University in the event of successful claims against a third party.

Subject to the requirements of this section, the University will pay sickness allowances as follows:

Length of serviceFull pay allowanceHalf pay allowance
First year of service 1 month 1 month 
Second and third years' service 3 months 3 months
Over three years' service 6 months 6 months

The period of allowance is subject to the length of service as at the first day of absence and to the deduction of the aggregate of any periods of paid sickness absence. during the twelve months immediately preceding the first day of absence.

Allowances are proportionate for part-time and term-time staff and staff whose hours have varied in the 12 month period prior to the first day of absence.

Length of service includes periods of maternity leave and unpaid leave.

The full pay allowance is an amount which, when added to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) or statutory incapacity benefits receivable, is the equivalent of normal pay.

The half pay allowance is an amount equal to half basic pay plus an amount equivalent to SSP or statutory incapacity benefits receivable, so long as the total sum does not exceed normal pay.

Allowances are proportionate for part-time and term-time staff and staff whose hours have varied in the 12 month period prior to the first day of absence.  Visit the Conditions of employment pages for full details.

Employees are under an obligation to declare to the University any entitlement to statutory incapacity benefits and any subsequent changes in such entitlement.

If an employee falls sick before commencing a period of pre-booked annual leave they will be regarded as being on sick leave for the period they were not well enough to attend work, provided that this period is covered by a medical certificate.

Any sickness which occurs during a period of annual leave will count as annual leave unless supported by a medical certificate issued at the time of the illness.

Statutory holidays and designated closure days at Easter and Christmas are not transferable to other dates. In the event of sickness on any of these days a normal day’s salary will be paid.

For health and safety reasons, staff who are signed off work with a medical certificate should not attend work without the express authority of the University.

An employee who is absent from work for a pregnancy related illness with a pregnancy-related illness following the beginning of the fourth week before the Expected Week of Childbirth (EWC) will automatically start their maternity leave period on the first day of absence.

Sickness absence will be managed by the University in accordance with the Managing Absence Code of Practice discussed with recognised trade unions.