Sick pay scheme
Last updated October 2020 – Amendment No 15-046
Special arrangements exist for employees to choose to be paid in full for periods of sick absence – this is known as the option to draw unabated sick pay. Without these arrangements, sick pay would have to be reduced by the amount of Social Security benefit claimable from Social Security although the total income receivable in either case will be the same.
The arrangements exist only to provide a simpler method for the payment of sick pay for both employees and pay sections, but they can only apply when an employee is entitled to be paid their normal earnings while on sick leave.
Therefore PSC employees will receive full pay without abatement (i.e. without deduction of national insurance benefit) provided the appropriate declaration is completed.
Sick pay is treated like pay in that it is subject to deduction of income tax and national insurance contributions. There should be no difference between normal pay (excluding overtime and intermittent allowances) and sick pay.
Absence shall be regarded as due to industrial disease or accident when it accord with the provisions of paragraph 17.
2. Sickness and accident allowances to be treated as separate entitlements
The allowances in respect of (a) normal sickness and (b) absence due to industrial disease or accident are entirely separate and periods of absence in respect of one shall not be set against the other for the purpose of section 4 of the Scheme.
3. Conditions of contractual sick pay
(a) Within any span of 12 months, payment of contractual sick pay shall be for the following periods according to length of service.
|During 1st year of service||
1 month’s full pay and (after completing 4 months’ service) 2 months’ half pay.
|During 2nd year of service||2 months’ full pay and 2 months’ half pay|
|During 3rd year of service||4 months’ full pay and 4 months’ half pay|
|During 4th & 5th year of service||5 months’ full pay and 5 months’ half pay|
|After 5 years||6 months’ full pay and 6 months’ half pay|
Provided that a stationed employer may, at its discretion, extend the period of sick pay in an individual case if the circumstances so justify.
(b) In the case of “half pay” periods, half pay is defined as half normal earnings, as defined in section 5.
(c) For employees subject to retaining fee arrangements during periods of the year when schools are closed, the period of entitlement to sick pay during their fourth and subsequent years’ service shall be 20 weeks full pay and 20 weeks’ half pay.
4. Calculation of period of sick pay
(a) The period during which sick pay shall be paid in respect of any period of sickness absence shall be ascertained by deducting from the employee’s entitlement any period, or the aggregate of periods, of paid sickness absence during the twelve months immediately preceding the first day of absence. As provided in paragraph 2, sickness absence and absence due to industrial disease or accident shall be treated separately for this purpose.
(b) A period of absence due to injury sustained by an employee for which damages are recovered from a third party shall be treated on terms of section 8 of the Scheme.
5. Normal earnings
For the purposes of this Section normal earnings are the earnings that would be paid during a period of normal working but excluding:
(i)casual overtime payments;
(ii)casual standby payments;
(iii) payment of a higher grade rate than an employees’ normal rate of wages where on the day immediately prior to absence due to sickness the employee has been receiving that payment for less than four weeks.
6. Sickness during holidays
(a) Where an employee is receiving sickness pay he or she should continue to receive such pay if a public or extra-statutory holiday occurs during sick leave. Where an employee has exhausted his or her period of entitlement to sickness pay, no payment should be made in respect of a public or extra-statutory holiday occurring during the period of sick leave.
(b) An employee absent on unpaid sickness leave is not entitled to payment in lieu of a public or extra-statutory holiday falling during such absence, save in the case of an employee excluded on medical grounds shall be entitled to holiday pay in respect of public or extra-statutory holidays occurring during the portion of sickness absence in respect of which, had the employee been admitted to the Scheme, he or she would have received sick pay.
(c) An employee who falls sick during the course of annual leave shall be regarded as being on sick leave from the date of a doctor’s statement and shall be entitled to take the balance of holiday at a later date after return to work, provided the balance of holiday is taken before the 31st March following the absence.
(d) The special payment to be made to an employee in the School Meals Service during a school holiday is a payment during a period of non-employment. In the case of an employee who is absent due to sickness immediately prior to the commencement of a school holiday period, sickness pay shall cease at the beginning of the school holiday period and the special payment shall commence. Similarly, an employee who is sick during the school holidays is not entitled to sick pay and will continue to receive the special payment.
7. Exclusion from benefit
(a) An employee whose absence on account of sickness is due or attributable to:
(i) the employee’s own misconduct; or
(ii) active participation in sport as a profession; or
(iii) injury while working in the employee’s own time on his or her own account for private gain, or for another employer, shall not be entitled to an allowance under this Scheme, except at the discretion of the stationed employer.
(b) Where the absence is due to participation in sport as an amateur, the employee shall be entitled to sick pay. Where the employee is covered for this risk by a form of insurance or other benefit which includes an element in respect of loss of wages, the stationed employer shall be entitled, if desired, to take account of such element in assessing sick pay.
8. Accident – third party claim
An employee who is absent from work as the result of an injury caused by the negligence of a third party is not entitled to receive sick pay if damages may be recoverable from the third party. Where there is a possibility of a claim for damages against a third party the flowing procedure should be adopted:
(a) The employee must be required immediately to sign the form of undertaking which is attached at Annex D and recommended to seek legal advice on making a claim which should include a specific amount for loss of earnings including any potential pay increases. (Where the employee is unable to sign the form due to his injuries alternative arrangements should be made e.g. a witnessed mark on the form or the spouse’s signature).
(b) It should be explained to the employee that, on signing the undertaking the employee will receive “an advance” which will be recoverable from any damages received from the third party; the employee should also be assured that no attempt will be made to recover the monies advanced in the event of:
(i) the claim not being pursued for any reason on legal advice; or
(ii) the claim for damages being unsuccessful; or
(iii) the claim being successful but the payment of the damages cannot be enforced.
In the event of an employee being partially successful, advice should be sought from the HR Advisers in the Office of Human Resources.
(c) The employee should be advised to claim sickness benefit from Social Security and seek the Department’s advice on the consequences of any long-term benefits (e.g. national retirement pension) so that any potential losses can be included with the claim.
(d) The “advance” should be a sum equal to the amount of sick pay which would have been paid if the absence had been due to ordinary sickness, however:
(i) No ITIP or NI deductions that would be made if the advance had been sick pay should be forwarded to the Treasury or Social Security);
(ii) The amount of sickness benefit which the employee is entitled to claim under the Social Security Acts must be deducted from the payment.
The advance should not be issued with the normal pay slip unless the slip clearly states that it is an advance and not remuneration in the form of pay. In the unfortunate event of the employee’s injuries being such that there is not a reasonable prospect of sufficient recovery to allow him to return to work the provisions of Article 31 and Appendix 7 of the MOA concerning premature retirement on ill health grounds should be followed.
9. Certification of sickness
(a) An employee shall not be entitled to claim sick pay unless:
(i) notification is made immediately to the officer prescribed for this purpose by the stationed employer;
(ii) further notification is furnished to the stationed employer as may be required but not later than the fourth day of absence;
(iii) a doctor’s statement is furnished to the stationed employer not later than the eighth calendar day of absence;
(iv) subsequent doctor’s statements are submitted to the stationed employer at the same intervals as they are required for national insurance purposes in those cases where the sickness absence extends beyond the period covered by the initial statement.
(v) on return to work a statement is signed detailing the reasons for all absences up to and including seven days.
(b) In cases where the first doctor’s statement covers a period exceeding fourteen days or where more than one statement is necessary, the employee must, before returning to work, obtain a final statement as to fitness to resume duties.
(a) A stationed employer may, at is discretion, accept a statement of a Health Care Professional as defined in the Health Care Professionals Act 2014 in a particular case according to its merits.
(b) Absence on account of sickness on the day before or day following a public or extra-statutory holiday must be supported by a self-certificate.
Original doctor’s medical certificates should be returned to the member of staff once a manager has taken a copy for their file.
10. Notification of progression to half or nil pay
Employees will receive notice as to when they are to progress to half or nil pay. In addition the employee will be reminded to complete a Social Security SC1 form (claim for Incapacity Benefit), upon receiving the pre-notification of progression to half pay.
Managers (or delegates) are required to notify employees as soon as they themselves are informed as to when the employee will go on to half or nil pay and should resend any notification 4 weeks prior to any reduction. Failure to do so may result in the employee not receiving incapacity benefit.
11. Incapacity Benefit
Prior to an employee going on to half sick pay, they must submit a completed Incapacity Benefit Claim Form (SC1) directly to the Social Security office, along with all original doctor’s medical certificates.
Completion and submission of the SC1 is the responsibility of the employee and should also include details of any secondary employment.
12. Medical examination during period of absence
(a) An employee shall, if required at any time, submit to a medical examination by a registered medical practitioner nominated by the stationed employer, subject to the provisions of the Health Records and Reports Act 1993 where applicable. In the event of a difference in medical opinion as to the employee’s fitness for work, the matter shall, at the request of the stationed employer or of the employee, be submitted to an independent medical referee chosen jointly by the authority and its employee.
(b) In the event of the referee pronouncing the employee as fit to resume work, sick pay shall cease with effect from the date on which the referee determines that the employee should return to work.
13. Payments not to admit liabilty under Workmen’s Compensation Acts, Etc
Any payments under this Scheme, shall not be an admission of liability under the Workmen’s Compensation Acts, the Employers’ Liability Acts and Acts amending, altering or affecting those Acts or at Common Law.
14. Part-time employees
This Scheme shall apply to a part-time employee in regular employment under PSC Manual & Craft terms and conditions. Sick pay for part-time employees should be based on their normal rate of pay for the hours they are contracted to work.
15. Contact with infectious diseases, etc – person deemed to be incapable of work
(a) An employee who is not incapable of work, but who is deemed in accordance with the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992( as that Act of Parliament has effect in the Isle of Man) to be incapable of work, shall be entitled to sick pay under the Scheme.
(b) A period of absence on this account shall not be reckoned against the employee’s entitlement to allowance during absence due to normal sickness or industrial disease or accident.
16. Absence due to injuries as a result of an assault on duty
If there is any doubt whether or not an absence is directly attributable to an assault on duty, the stationed employer should be asked to seek the advice of the Commission’s Occupational Health Practitioner. If the circumstances of the assault on duty are such that there is a possibility of recovering damages from a third party the employee should be advised to act as in the case of an employee injured due to an accident involving a third party, (see section 8) for the purposes of a claim and required to sign an undertaking, using the form at Annex D.
The pay of an employee during an absence to injury as a result of an assault in the course of duty or an assault while not on duty but clearly connected with official duty shall be as follows:
(a) if a claim for damages is not to be made, full sick pay, paid irrespective of the amount the employee would have received under the sick pay rules plus additions in respect of overtime, shift disturbance, or night duty allowances regularly received (calculated on average hours worked over the calendar quarter immediately preceding, unless such work is of a purely seasonal character when an estimate should be made of what he would have received had he not been forced to miss work because of the assault);
(b) if a claim for damages is to be made – an advance equivalent to the amount which would have been paid under (a) above, if no claim for damages had been made, subject to refund if the claim is successful.
The provisions of section 8(b) will apply if the employee is unable to claim damages from the third party, or if the claim is wholly unsuccessful, or if the claim is partly successful.
17. Damages awarded – treatment of national insurance and income tax payments
If a claim for damages is wholly or partly successful, any advances are subject to refund and the employee’s income tax and contribution payments may need to be adjusted. The advice of the Assessor of Income Tax and Social Security Division should be sought in each case.
18. Damages awarded – reckoning of absence for sick absence purposes
Where there has been a successful claim for damages and all or part of the “advance” has been repaid, the period of absence due to injury shall be expunged from reckoning against the maximum periods of paid sick absence as set out in section 3 as follows:
(a) ASSUALT WHILE ON DUTY:- total period of sick absence due to the assault irrespective of result of any claim made;
(b) ACCIDENT (ON OR OFF DUTY) DUE TO THE NEGLIGENCE OF A THIRD party:- a period running from the date on which the paid absence due to the injury began, up to the date on which the total sum repaid to the department would be expended when set against the pay advanced.
(c) VICTIMS OF CRIMES OF VIOLENCE
(i) Where an employee is absent from work because of an injury in respect of which a claim will be to the Criminal Injuries Compensation Board and where the employee is otherwise qualified to receive sick pay and accident allowance in accordance with the Scheme, an accident allowance shall be disbursed to the employee without a requirement to refund any portion of it from any sum which the Compensation Board may award.
(ii) Where an award has been made by the Compensation Board, the employing authority may discount, wholly or partly, the period of absence occasioned by the injury in calculating the employee’s future entitlement to sick pay and accident allowances as the authority may see fit on consideration of all the material circumstances.
Where no repayment is made, absences due to the negligence of a third party will be treated as sick leave for the purposes of this section.
19. Industrial disease or accident
Where an employee is absent from work as a result of an industrial disease or accident the employee shall be entitled to the provisions of the sickness pay scheme relating to the industrial disease or accident, provided that the employee has complied with the following conditions:
(a) Any accident arising out of and in the course of employment with the stationed employer must be reported and recorded in accordance with the procedures laid down by the Public Services Commission. The accident will be subject to investigation and report by an officer authorised for the purpose by the Public Services Commission (or delegate).
(b) Where an employee seeks medical advice about an illness which is suspected or alleged to result from the nature of his or her employment the employee reports accordingly to the stationed employer at the first opportunity.
(c) Certification of absence due to industrial disease or accident is made as required under the provisions of section 9.
(d) In the case of the first, and any subsequent absence, due to industrial disease or accident an employee shall submit, at any time during such absence, if so required by the stationed employer to a medical examination by a registered medical practitioner nominated by the stationed employer. In the event that the stationed employer’s doctor is not satisfied that the absence is due to an industrial disease or accident the employee shall have right of appeal to an independent medical referee chosen jointly by the stationed employer and the employee.
(e) Failure to meet these conditions will render the employee liable to exclusion from the provisions of the occupational sickness pay scheme relating to industrial disease or accident. However, the employee shall have right of appeal through the normal machinery where differences arise out of application of this paragraph.
20. Temporary Injury Allowance
see MOA Article 52