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Sickness absence

Sickness absence

The University's sick pay scheme is designed to support colleagues during periods of ill health, whether it's for a day or two to recover from a simple cold or longer for periods of more serious ill health.

Please be aware that with effect from 10 August 2023 you will need to connect to VPN and MFA if you are off campus and wish to access iTrent Employee Self Service to record sickness, book holiday, view payslips, submit PTA timesheets or review your personal and employment information. Guidance can be found online here: Off campus access with VPN and MFA guidance and you should contact the IT Service desk if you require any additional support. 

If you are sick you should notify your manager/supervisor as soon as possible on the first day of absence by telephone or message.

You should confirm the reason for your absence, give an expected date of return or when you will be able to call again with further information.  Whenever possible, notification should be made in person.

If you are sick for more than 7 consecutive days (including non working days, weekends and closure days) you must obtain a medical certificate, or "fit note" and forward it promptly to your manager or supervisor.

You must also notify your manager or supervisor whether or not you will be returning to work at the expiry of a medical certificate and if appropriate forward a further medical certificate as above.

When notified of a sickness absence you, or if applicable your Sickness co-ordinator, should record the start date of absence in iTrent People Manager, please follow our Guide to recording sickness absence.

This will trigger an automated email to the employee to action on their return, it will confirm the start date of the absence and requests that they enter their return date on iTrent.

If your member of staff is sick for more than 7 consecutive days (including non working days, weekends and closure days), you will receive an email reminder that they are required to provide you with a medical certificate.  Once you receive the medical certificate it should be uploaded into iTrent, please see our Guide to recording sickness absence.

If your member of staff is off sick for longer than 28 consecutive days, you will receive a further email as this is considered to be a period of long term sickness absence.  Your HR Advisor will work with you to support the team member with their recovery and return to work.

Once your team member has returned to work you should arrange a return to work interview.

When you return to work you should click on the link in the email from HR relating to your absence and enter an end date to your sickness absence record.  Instructions on how to do this are included in the email.  Please note: until an end date is entered, your sickness record will remain open and your pay could be impacted.

Once you have ended your absence on iTrent you will receive a final email confirming that your sickness record has been closed.

When your member of staff returns to work you should arrange a return to work interview with them to confirm the reason for the absence and to ensure they are well enough to return.

If your employee does not have access to HR systems you will also need to record the last day of sickness on iTrent People Manager on their behalf see our Guide to ending a sickness absence.  Please note that until an end date is entered the sickness record will remain open and their pay could be affected.

The Occupational Health Service helps staff fulfil their potential, irrespective of disability and ill health.  They work to prevent work-related illness and to assist staff to return to work after sickness absence. 

We may refer you to be examined by the Occupational Health Service or a doctor nominated by the University where there are concerns about your health or level of attendance. 

 For further information, please visit the Occupational Health Service web pages.

When an agreement has been made for an employee to return to work on a phased return, you, or if applicable your sickness coordinator, should record the employee's phased working pattern in iTrent People Manager, please follow our Guide to recording sickness absence.

Subject to the requirements in the Terms and Conditions, the University will pay sickness allowance as follows:

Length of service Full pay allowance Half 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 

Your entitlement to sick pay is calculated on a 12 month rolling period.  Therefore any periods of sickness absence in the 12 moths prior to your current period of sickness absence will be deducted from your entitlement.

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.

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

If you fall sick during a period of annual leave, this will count as annual leave unless you provide a medical certificate issued at the time of the illness.

Statutory holidays and designated closure days at 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, if you are signed off work with a medical certificate you should not attend work without the express authority of the University.

Confused by decimals in iTrent and wondering how they convert to minutes? You are not alone. Please use this guide to help you -  A guide: decimal to minutes

Sickness recording