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  • FIRST POST
    • BadBehaviour
    • By BadBehaviour 8th Oct 17, 8:15 PM
    • 301Posts
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    BadBehaviour
    Question about how number of absences from work are calculated
    • #1
    • 8th Oct 17, 8:15 PM
    Question about how number of absences from work are calculated 8th Oct 17 at 8:15 PM
    In my workplace you can get dismissed after 5 absences in a 12-month period.

    I even checked the staff handbook and it's not clear when this 12-month period starts... as I understood it, it is a 12-month rolling period.

    Am I correct in thinking if I had been absent, say, in August 2016, then in May 2017... I would have 1 absence on my record at the moment, right? (it's just an example to understand)

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by BadBehaviour; 08-10-2017 at 8:18 PM.
Page 1
    • Tigsteroonie
    • By Tigsteroonie 8th Oct 17, 8:17 PM
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    Tigsteroonie
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 8:17 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Oct 17, 8:17 PM
    Our absences work on a similar rolling basis. Yes, your August 2016 absence is now off the tally; you only have one absence in the last 12 months.
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    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 8th Oct 17, 8:26 PM
    • 127 Posts
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    stuartJo1989
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 8:26 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Oct 17, 8:26 PM
    To be fair though, they only really tend to have rules like that to justify getting rid of people who are excessively off sick, and/or those that they don't particularly like!

    If you are off sick 7 times in 12 months with good reasons, and when being a hard worker, they *probably won't* be sacking you!!
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 8th Oct 17, 9:44 PM
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    sangie595
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 9:44 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Oct 17, 9:44 PM
    To be fair though, they only really tend to have rules like that to justify getting rid of people who are excessively off sick, and/or those that they don't particularly like!

    If you are off sick 7 times in 12 months with good reasons, and when being a hard worker, they *probably won't* be sacking you!!
    Originally posted by stuartJo1989
    Actually, they almost certainly will be, because if they don't their sickness absence policy is challengeable in law. The reason these policies exist is to ensure that people are treated the same way, whether they are "liked" or not. If the employer does not abide by their policy for everyone, then they face an unfair dismissal claim (and probably a loss) every time they use it!
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 8th Oct 17, 9:50 PM
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    sangie595
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 9:50 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Oct 17, 9:50 PM
    In my workplace you can get dismissed after 5 absences in a 12-month period.

    I even checked the staff handbook and it's not clear when this 12-month period starts... as I understood it, it is a 12-month rolling period.

    Am I correct in thinking if I had been absent, say, in August 2016, then in May 2017... I would have 1 absence on my record at the moment, right? (it's just an example to understand)

    Thanks in advance.
    Originally posted by BadBehaviour
    Policies are rarely that simple. It often depends not just on the number of absences, but also on the length of the absences. To be honest, five absences in a 12 month period is a pretty high level of absence. Are you sure you have read the whole of the policy? I work with local authorities, which are generally considered to be "soft touches", and broadly speaking, sickness absence processes kick in after only about nine days in total or three absences within a rolling year. So five is pretty generous, unless you mean five days absence.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 9th Oct 17, 7:58 AM
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    TELLIT01
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 7:58 AM
    • #6
    • 9th Oct 17, 7:58 AM
    When I worked for DWP it was 4 periods of absence or 8 days absence, whichever was the lower, which would trigger the disciplinary process. That was in a rolling year. Assuming the employment period is more than 2 years, they can't simply sack somebody for having 5 periods of absence. There is a process to go through.
    • custardy
    • By custardy 9th Oct 17, 7:59 AM
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    custardy
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 7:59 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Oct 17, 7:59 AM
    To be fair though, they only really tend to have rules like that to justify getting rid of people who are excessively off sick, and/or those that they don't particularly like!

    If you are off sick 7 times in 12 months with good reasons, and when being a hard worker, they *probably won't* be sacking you!!
    Originally posted by stuartJo1989
    Would you say thats a fair way to interpret the attendance/sick policy?
    • john22
    • By john22 9th Oct 17, 10:25 AM
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    john22
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:25 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Oct 17, 10:25 AM
    Worked for retail company and the rule was 3 absence in a 6 month period you would be asked to a interview and be given a possible warning or if there was an underlying issue that they could help you with. So it wasn't always black and white or as cold and calculated like the OP employers.
    • BadBehaviour
    • By BadBehaviour 9th Oct 17, 5:25 PM
    • 301 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    BadBehaviour
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:25 PM
    • #9
    • 9th Oct 17, 5:25 PM
    Policies are rarely that simple. It often depends not just on the number of absences, but also on the length of the absences. To be honest, five absences in a 12 month period is a pretty high level of absence. Are you sure you have read the whole of the policy? I work with local authorities, which are generally considered to be "soft touches", and broadly speaking, sickness absence processes kick in after only about nine days in total or three absences within a rolling year. So five is pretty generous, unless you mean five days absence.
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Worked for retail company and the rule was 3 absence in a 6 month period you would be asked to a interview and be given a possible warning or if there was an underlying issue that they could help you with. So it wasn't always black and white or as cold and calculated like the OP employers.
    Originally posted by john22
    I work for a supermarket.

    Yes, it's 5 absences, which can last each for more than a day, not just 5 days. After 3 verbal warning, written warning at the 4th and possible dismissal after 5.
    Last edited by BadBehaviour; 09-10-2017 at 5:27 PM.
    • ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    • By ScorpiondeRooftrouser 9th Oct 17, 5:34 PM
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    ScorpiondeRooftrouser
    Actually, they almost certainly will be, because if they don't their sickness absence policy is challengeable in law. The reason these policies exist is to ensure that people are treated the same way, whether they are "liked" or not. If the employer does not abide by their policy for everyone, then they face an unfair dismissal claim (and probably a loss) every time they use it!
    Originally posted by sangie595
    That's presumably why the policy is "can be dismissed" rather than "will be dismissed".
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 9th Oct 17, 7:28 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    Actually, they almost certainly will be, because if they don't their sickness absence policy is challengeable in law. The reason these policies exist is to ensure that people are treated the same way, whether they are "liked" or not. If the employer does not abide by their policy for everyone, then they face an unfair dismissal claim (and probably a loss) every time they use it!
    Originally posted by sangie595
    Well, my previous employer evidenced it.... But they struggled to retain talent at times which was probably a driving force.

    Not saying I disagree with you though! What you say makes perfect sense.

    (although one twist is that being so strict in the implementation of the sickness policy means that you could potentially be unfair in regards to people with disabilities; either through being more lenient with the sickness policy for people with disabilities, or through applying the policy to the letter and not really giving them any chance at work).
    Last edited by stuartJo1989; 09-10-2017 at 7:35 PM.
    • stuartJo1989
    • By stuartJo1989 9th Oct 17, 7:31 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 105 Thanks
    stuartJo1989
    Would you say thats a fair way to interpret the attendance/sick policy?
    Originally posted by custardy
    It would be an unfair way to interpret it.

    I would personally interpret it in a fair way in line with what sangie said, but I'm not and haven't been a decision maker (relating to sacking) in the workplace.
    • TELLIT01
    • By TELLIT01 10th Oct 17, 9:12 AM
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    TELLIT01

    (although one twist is that being so strict in the implementation of the sickness policy means that you could potentially be unfair in regards to people with disabilities; either through being more lenient with the sickness policy for people with disabilities, or through applying the policy to the letter and not really giving them any chance at work).
    Originally posted by stuartJo1989
    Most sickness policies are adaptable for those with chronic health problems. Where I worked there were a number of people I knew who were allowed additional days before the standard attendance reviews kicked in due to such issues.
    • sangie595
    • By sangie595 10th Oct 17, 9:35 AM
    • 3,803 Posts
    • 6,217 Thanks
    sangie595
    Well, my previous employer evidenced it.... But they struggled to retain talent at times which was probably a driving force.

    Not saying I disagree with you though! What you say makes perfect sense.

    (although one twist is that being so strict in the implementation of the sickness policy means that you could potentially be unfair in regards to people with disabilities; either through being more lenient with the sickness policy for people with disabilities, or through applying the policy to the letter and not really giving them any chance at work).
    Originally posted by stuartJo1989
    Well your previous employer would have left themselves wide open to a claim for unfair dismissal. These policies actually arise from employers having been bashed at tribunals for doing exactly that! So to adopt a policy and not implement it absolutely is pointless.

    For people with disabilities, allowing a variation to the policy if required (disability does not always lead to higher sickness rates) is a reasonable adjustment in law, so it is not unfair. And not making such an adjustment may be considered disability discrimination.
    • badmemory
    • By badmemory 15th Oct 17, 8:22 PM
    • 803 Posts
    • 781 Thanks
    badmemory
    And all these pollicies are now the reason why people go to work when quite obviously they should not do & cough & sneeze over everybody else & make them go off sick instead.
    • xapprenticex
    • By xapprenticex 15th Oct 17, 8:37 PM
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    xapprenticex
    You blame the policy and not the type of people who created a need for the policies. If you was an employer, you'd change your tune sharpish.

    If a person turns up to work and clearly shouldnt be there, they usually get sent home. Should people be having days off because they have a cold? Jury is out on that one, but evidently, not everyone has been taught basic hygiene. Covering ones mouth and having hand sanitiser goes a long way.
    • Fireflyaway
    • By Fireflyaway 16th Oct 17, 1:00 PM
    • 1,269 Posts
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    Fireflyaway
    Many companies will use something like the Bradford score. Multiple short absences are viewed as worse than 1 long absence. My understanding is the 12 months is rolling, so looking at today then working back 1 year would be the current period. Otherwise if the 'sick' year ran the same as the tax year or from jan to dec you would get a load of people off ' sick' in march or Nov or whatever.
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