Absence management is a key area of work for managers and Human Resources in Falkirk Council.

We aim to maximise attendance and minimise ill-health amongst our employees by promoting Health at Work. Good attendance at work is essential for us to provide our services.

We monitor and publish our absence performance across the Council on a quarterly basis. Managers can access Barrachd, a reporting tool linked to Falkirk Council's payroll and personnel system, to help them to monitor and manage attendance in their own teams.

Our Managing Sickness Absence Policy gives guidance to employees and managers on the absence procedures and how to manage absence as well as advice on occupational health referrals.

Managing sickness absence policy
Absence analysis for Falkirk Council

Calling in sick

It is important that all employees read and understand the calling in sick booklet. You have a number of responsibilities in relation to calling in sick including

  • attending work unless unfit to do so,
  • advising your manager of any illness which affects your ability to attend work or to carry out the duties of your post to a satisfactory level and
  • reporting absence promptly to your manager and ensuring that the appropriate certification is provided.

It is not acceptable to ask someone else to make the call for you or send a text message or email.

You must phone in to report your absence as outlined below.

Day 1

Phone your manager as soon as possible but within an hour of your agreed start time. If you work shifts, or jobshare, call as soon as you become aware that you are unfit for work. If your manager is unavailable, you must leave a message, along with a telephone number so that they can ring you back.

When you make contact you should explain briefly what is wrong, and give some indication of how long you expect to be absent.

If your absence continues, keep your manager informed. If, for example, you have suggested that you might be off 2 days, and on the third day you are still unfit then you should phone in.

Day 4

If you are still unable to come to work, you must phone your manager/nominated contact again.

Day 7

If you are still unfit for work on day 7, you are expected to call on day 7 to let your manager know [or first thing on day 8 if day 7 is not a work day].

Calling in sick procedures

Absence of more than 7 calendar days

If your absence continues into a second week, you will need a medical certificate [Med 3] signed by your GP to cover the period of absence beyond the first week. Your manager will send you a self certificate and you should complete both certificates and send them to your manager as quickly as possible.

The Med3 certificate will state that you are either unfit for work, or may be fit for work taking account of advice provided such as a phased return, altered hours, amended duties and/or workplace adaptations. It will be up to your manager to decide if they can accommodate this.

If your absence continues, you must make sure that you send medical certificates to your manager on the due date. You should also telephone your manager weekly to let them know how you are progressing. Call your manager each time you see your doctor for a new medical certificate, so that you can report the outcome of that visit.

Calling in sick procedures

Recording absence on MyView – Manager's responsibility

When an employee calls in sick, you should now be recording the sickness on MyView.

You should enter the sickness absence entry onto MyView as soon as possible, preferably on the first day of the employees' absence.

Please do not wait for the employee to return from absence to create the sickness entry on MyView.

Payroll no longer require any paper self certification forms. These should be completed as normal when the employee returns from absence but instead should be uploaded onto MyView using the document storage module, My Team's Documents.

Payroll still require Doctors Certificates to be sent to them. They should be uploaded via document storage in the same way as the self certificate but then sent to Payroll. The reason for this is payroll is required to retain the original doctors certificates for statutory sick pay and audit purposes.


Returning to work

You must complete a self certificate form for every absence and have a return to work meeting with your manager which must be recorded on the return to work form.

A Return to Work Interview (RTWI) must be adopted as regular practice for each and every period of sickness absence, to ensure an effective means of reducing absenteeism. It should (where possible) be completed on the day you return to work and certainly within 72 hours of returning to work.

Obviously, if you have been absent from work due to a musculoskeletal problem and you carry out a physical job then your RTWI should be completed before you resume normal duties in case any adjustments to working practices need to be made. Where you are returning to work within one week, you should complete the self-certificate at this meeting.

The RTWI should be informal, always conducted sympathetically and held in private.

Self Certificate Form
Return to Work Form

Occupational Health – Managers responsibility

Where employees are absent from work and an occupational health referral is considered appropriate, you can make a referral using the occupational health referral form. As occupational health services are provided by an external provider, employees should be aware of the privacy notice relating to this.

Occupational Health referral form updated 191218
Occupational Health Privacy Notice

Stress Management and Wellbeing

Where employees are suffering from stress, they can use the stress risk assessment toolkit to assess whether there are any work related issues. The Stress Management and Mental Wellbeing Policy may also be of use.

Stress Management risk assessment questionnaire (electronic version)
Stress Management risk assessment questionnaire (hard copy)
Stress Management risk assessment toolkit information for employees
Stress Management risk assessment toolkit managers' pack
Stress Management and Mental Wellbeing policy
Stress Management and Mental Wellbeing policy - guidance for managers

Sick Pay

Entitlement to sick pay depends on your length of service and your national conditions of service. You must follow the correct absence reporting procedures to be entitled to receive sick pay. Information on entitlements can be found on the terms and conditions pages.


OLLE courses

There are a range of OLLE courses available which will help you maximise your own attendance and that of your employees.

There are a range of OLLE courses which should be completed:

Course Name All Employees Managers
Absence management X
Calling in sick procedures X
Maximising attendance X
Drug & alcohol awareness X
Talking about mental health X
Understanding stress management in the workplace X

Capability

We also have a Capability Policy which aims to promote fairness, equity and consistency in the management of performance.

This policy may be used where an employee fails to perform the duties of their post to the minimum requirements and standards due to performance related capability, health related capability, lack of necessary qualifications, appropriate professional registration or other genuine occupational requirement.

Capability policy