HR Policy Team
Please email


Attendance Management (Procedures when employees are absent due to sickness)

Sometimes we become unwell and are unable to come to work. If you are unwell this is the reporting procedure you must follow.

Click on the topic headings below to view more information.

Reporting sick

On the first day of absence, you must telephone your line manager at the earliest opportunity, or follow procedures in accordance with your department guidelines, normally no later than 20 minutes from the time you are due to start work.  In exceptional circumstances, where you are too unwell to make a telephone call, a relative or friend can contact your line manager on your behalf.

You will be asked to provide details of your illness or injury and indicate how long you might be away from work. You should also tell your manager, if possible, any tasks that need to be undertaken whilst you are absent.

If you were not able to speak to your manager when reporting your absence, your manager is entitled to call you back to discuss your absence.

Where the absence is a result of an accident at work, you should confirm this to your manager, as they will need to record it appropriately.

How should you maintain contact?

Your manager will advise you what contact you will be required to make on subsequent days of absence and whether you are required to telephone the day before you intend to return to work (this may be necessary where someone else is covering your role in your absence).

When should you submit a Fit Note?

If you are sick for more than seven consecutive days (including non-working days), you must produce a Fit Note (medical certificate) from your doctor from the eighth day and contact your manager again.  If your absence continues beyond the date given by your doctor, further Fit Notes must be provided to cover the whole period.  If you do not provide a Fit Note to cover your absence you will not be paid for this period of leave as it will be classed as unauthorised absence.

Monitoring of sickness absence

When you return to work you will be invited to an informal meeting called a Return to Work meeting.  You will be asked to sign the form which will record the reasons for your absence and the details will be held on your file.  Your sickness absence history will be reviewed by your line manager to determine whether you have met any of our absence thresholds which are:

  • A total of 5 working days/shifts or the equivalent of one working week, on one or more occasions in a rolling 3 month period.
  • 3 separate periods of absence in a 3 month period.
  • 5 days or more in a rolling 12 month period.

Sickness during annual leave

Annual leave which has been lost due to sickness may be reinstated. If you have had an unexpected illness which has stopped you benefiting from the rest and recuperation which annual leave is meant to provide you can request to have your leave reinstated. You must also provide a Fit Note to cover your sickness absence (the cost of the sick note will be met by the Council) and give your line manager your Fit Note immediately on return to work. Re-scheduling of this leave will be approved by your line manager in the usual way.

Sick pay

All employees benefit from sick pay and the amount we receive depends on our length of service.

Sick pay entitlement

Length of service Full pay Half pay
During first year 1 month 2 months*
During second year 2 months 2 months
During third year 4 months 4 months
During forth and fifth years 5 months 5 months
After five years 6 months 6 months

*(after four months' service)

Full pay

Full basic pay less normal deductions (if statutory sick pay is payable, this will be shown in your full basic pay), if you receive incapacity benefit in addition to full pay, your pay will be reduced to ensure that the amount of pay you receive, when pay and state benefit are added together, is equivalent to full pay.

Half pay

Half basic pay plus statutory sick pay less normal deductions (if applicable) or, if you receive incapacity benefit from DSS, half basic pay only less normal deductions, if half pay and state benefit together exceed full pay, then an amount equivalent to full pay only is paid.