Sickness absence procedure

  • As a member of staff it is essential that you notify your manager that you’re going to be absent from work as soon as practicable possible

  • As a manager/supervisor, the way you respond can have an impact on the length of the absence, future absences and the individual’s wellbeing

Staff member procedure

You must notify your manager/supervisor as soon as possible in accordance with the notification requirements of your Department, Board or Office.

You are expected to:

  • make contact personally – only in exceptional circumstances, for example when the medical condition prevents normal communication, should someone else make contact for you
  • give details of your sickness and some indication if possible of when you are likely to return to work
  • advise of any potential problems/work commitments which might arise during your absence

If your manager/supervisor is unavailable, you must speak to the most appropriate person. This person will complete the Notification of Sickness Absence Form.

If you fail to report sickness absence within the agreed timescale this will result in it being treated as unauthorised absence and may lead to sick pay being withheld and/or disciplinary action.

Management procedure

A simple step-by-step guide to reporting sickness absence:

  1. Team member off sick
    Manager completes and submits the notification of sickness absence form. An email will be sent to the team member, their line manager/supervisor, and to HR. This email contains a link to the sickness declaration form (to be completed upon return by staff member).

    Make a sickness absence notification
  2. Team member is absent
    During this time there will be support and regular contact – our toolkit has resources to assist you in supporting your staff.

    It is the key responsibility of the manager/supervisor to ensure regular contact is maintained.

  3. Doctor's notes
    Any doctor's notes which are issued during the absence should be sent to the manager. A scanned copy of the Doctor's Note should be sent the Absence Administration team. 

    • Day 4 of absence – if you are still absent you must again notify your manager/supervisor giving details of your continuing sickness and, if possible, when you expect to return to work
    • Day 8 of absence – if you are absent for 8 or more consecutive days (including weekends) you must obtain a Doctor's Note
    • As soon as you go onto half sick pay or no pay, you must submit a completed Incapacity Benefit Claim Form (SC1) directly to Social Security

  4. Return to work
    Have a return to work discussion as per your current processes. Retain for your records.

  5. Declaration form
    The team member completes the sickness declaration form. A copy will also go the manager. Once the form and any necessary Doctor's Notes are received, the absence team will then close the absence for you.

    Complete Sickness Declaration Form

Accident – Third Party Claim

If a Third Party Claim may be made, the individual or manager/supervisor should contact their HR Advisory team for further information as soon as possible as this could affect the claim.