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Absence from Work | Wolfson College Intranet

Absence from Work

As part of its duty of care to staff, the College has put in place procedures to manage sickness absence.

Staff are expected to maintain a satisfactory record of attendance. However the College aims to balance the sensitive nature of individual sickness and ill health against its needs to achieve its objectives. The College aims to assist employees to retain or regain good health.

This Policy Explains


Contractual sick pay terms and its relationship with statutory sick pay


The procedure employees must follow when taking time off sick


Documentation required for certification of absence


Provisions in place on return to work


Procedures for reviewing absence

The College offers the following contractual sick pay scheme

0-3 months’ service none – Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) only
3 months to 1 year’s service – 2 weeks plus 2 weeks at half pay
1-3 years’ service 8 weeks plus – 8 weeks at half pay
3-5 years’ service 12 weeks plus – 12 weeks at half pay
Over 10 years’ service – 26 weeks plus 26 weeks at half pay

Entitlement to contractual sick pay in the preceding 12 months is taken into account.

Where an employee is not entitled to contractual sick pay and qualifies for Statutory Sick Pay, a minimum statutory payment will come into effect after a continuous absence of four days.

Reporting Procedure

  • Any absence from work must be reported on the first day by telephoning the Head of Department one hour before the normal start time or as soon as practicable. If the Head of Department is unavailable a message should be left with a contact number either on the voicemail of the Head of Department or with another senior member of the Department. Messages should not be left via the Porters Lodge.
  • The notification must say how long the absence is likely to be.

Evidence of Incapacity

  • Completion ofself-certification form for absences up to seven calendar days is required on return to work.
  • If absence is longer than seven calendar days (including weekends and holidays) the employee is to obtain a medical certificate from his or her GP and send it to the College.
  • Certificates should continue to be submitted to cover all absence.
  • Employees should not return to work before the date indicated on the last medical certificate.

Sickness during booked leave entitlement

Where certified sickness coincides with booked leave entitlement the College will not normally count this as sick leave unless prior notice to cancel booked leave is given.

Return to work interviews

On return to work following a period of absence an interview will be carried out with the member of staff by the Head of Department, the interview is intended to:

  • Establish the reason for and cause of absence.
  • Update the member of staff on what has happened while they have been away.
  • Establish that the employee is fit to return to work.
A Return to Work Interview form must be completed by the Head of Department /Supervisor and submitted to the HR Office with the relevant certification.

A more formal review will be triggered by periods of absence after a single period of 10 days or more or for separate periods which, in any period of 12 months, exceed 10 days.

The interview will aim to:

  • Identify the frequency and reason for the absence and ensure that the employee is aware that the absence record is giving cause for concern.
  • Advise the employee to seek proper medical attention if there is any underlying medical problem.
  • Inform the employee that the persistent short term absences are unacceptable.
  • Give consideration to the employee’s personal problems.
  • Agree a reasonable period of time over which the employee’s attendance can be assessed.

Procedures for Review of Long Term Absence


Long term sickness may be defined as more than four weeks’ continuous time off due to ill health


Regular contact with the employee should be maintained to show interest and concern and enquire about prospects for a return to work.


The College reserves the right to ask employees to complete a medical records consent form to request a medical report from the employee’s GP.


If permissions are in place, and in the event that it is unclear when the employee will be fit to return to work, normally the case should be referred to an occupational health or medical advisor and a report (made available to the employee if requested) provided to managementindicating:

  1. The likely date of any return to work
  2. Any “reasonable adjustment” required to assist the employee with a disability.
  3. Whether the employee is likely to be able to fulfil his or her current job requirements in the future.
  4. Whether re-deployment should be considered.

When the report has been received consultation will take place with the employee before any decisions are made regarding the individual’s employment within the College. Employees are entitled to be accompanied at such meetings.

Termination of the contract of employment may result where there is no reasonable prospect of the employee returning to normal duties; and where suitable alternative employment is unavailable or inappropriate or unacceptable to the employee.

The contract of employment may be terminated by reason of:

  1. Ill health retirement
  2. Dismissal by reason of medical incapacity
  3. A mutually agreed termination process on the grounds of capability.
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