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I have a couple of questions,

 

A company's policy on sick pay entitlement is as follows -

 

 

During probationary period Zero

 

Completed probationary period

and up to one year's service 2 weeks full pay

 

During 2nd and 3rd year of

service 6 weeks full pay

 

During 4th and 5th year of

service 12 weeks full pay

 

Firstly can someone tell me if that phrase 'completed probationary period and up to one year's service' means you start counting from the start of employment or from the end of the probationary period please?

 

And next is there anything, if service has been continuous, which could mean an employee does not move into the next bracket on the appropriate anniversary?

 

There is a further table on the contract for shift workers, same periods of employment but then sick pay is given in shifts and after this table it says 'once you have exhausted your sickness entitlement in any 12 month rolling period you will no longer accrue the right to further sick pay again until you have been back at work for a continuous period of 26 weeks'. This makes total sense for that table because of the nature of the employment but there's nothing to say this doesn't apply to both types of employee. Does this mean if you use up your entitlement, go back to work and five months later have a day off with eg a migraine you go back to square one and unless you do six months full attendance at some point you will never again accrue entitlement to sick pay?

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I have a couple of questions,

 

A company's policy on sick pay entitlement is as follows -

 

 

During probationary period Zero

 

Completed probationary period

and up to one year's service 2 weeks full pay

 

During 2nd and 3rd year of

service 6 weeks full pay

 

During 4th and 5th year of

service 12 weeks full pay

 

Firstly can someone tell me if that phrase 'completed probationary period and up to one year's service' means you start counting from the start of employment or from the end of the probationary period please?

 

And next is there anything, if service has been continuous, which could mean an employee does not move into the next bracket on the appropriate anniversary?

 

There is a further table on the contract for shift workers, same periods of employment but then sick pay is given in shifts and after this table it says 'once you have exhausted your sickness entitlement in any 12 month rolling period you will no longer accrue the right to further sick pay again until you have been back at work for a continuous period of 26 weeks'. This makes total sense for that table because of the nature of the employment but there's nothing to say this doesn't apply to both types of employee. Does this mean if you use up your entitlement, go back to work and five months later have a day off with eg a migraine you go back to square one and unless you do six months full attendance at some point you will never again accrue entitlement to sick pay?

 

 

Your first question is answered thus: from month 4 to month 12, inclusive.

 

Second question: based upon information posted here - no.

 

The third question: I would imagine it is only for shift workers if it there is a separate section in the policy/contract just for shift workers, although the employer may have intended this applies to all staff. It is, after all, quite common to have such restrictions and I would be very surprised if they don’t cover all staff.

 

Finally: yes.

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Thank you for such a swift answer. You have all the information I have and I believe it to be complete :)

So, if the accounting period spans an anniversary is the employee entitled to the enhanced entitlement for that period after the anniversary? This makes a difference as to whether they did or didn't use up their entitlement - hence my questions.

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Thank you for such a swift answer. You have all the information I have and I believe it to be complete :)

So, if the accounting period spans an anniversary is the employee entitled to the enhanced entitlement for that period after the anniversary? This makes a difference as to whether they did or didn't use up their entitlement - hence my questions.

 

I would say yes, that does appear to be the case but I would recommend you ask your HR Dept directly for clarification.

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Not my HR disgruntled - I'm long retired :) I really am asking for someone else and it's HR causing the problem. There has been a lot of employee 'sickness' over the last few months in this particular company due to truly extraordinary circumstances and they are now looking to claw back what they claim are overpayments in sick pay. They can pick their accounting period and they don't appear to be taking any account of the anniversary increment.

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Well just got a further update and it is the 26 week rule which is crucifying one employee. They used up their entitlement three years ago and have only had the odd day off here and there since (5 in total) but these have never been more than six months apart.

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Well just got a further update and it is the 26 week rule which is crucifying one employee. They used up their entitlement three years ago and have only had the odd day off here and there since (5 in total) but these have never been more than six months apart.

 

Well, them’s the rules...

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Agreed. The circumstances leading to this year's absences are such that the company paid sick pay because it would have looked very bad if they hadn't at the time. Nasty though to do so with the intent of clawing it back later when things quieten down.

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Maybe there is a history of abuse?

 

I know an employer who was fed up with three or four persistent abusers of a very generous sick pay clause. The employer simply changed everybody’s contract (legally, I might add) to vastly reduce the allowances.

 

Had it been me I would have dismissed the offenders and left the rest of the staff to their responsible attitude towards sickness.

 

Whilst not wishing to presume, is it possible this particular employee is taking the p155? I mean taking the odd day off here and there and never more than six months apart smells very much like swinging the lead to me.

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Not just one employee and truly exceptional circumstances - a one off.

The odd days off, a couple a year are various but two were hospital full day investigations. The increase in entitlement anniversary appears to be helping another employee.

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Not just one employee and truly exceptional circumstances - a one off.

The odd days off, a couple a year are various but two were hospital full day investigations. The increase in entitlement anniversary appears to be helping another employee.

 

Hospital investigations are not sick leave, and shouldn't be claimed as such. Time off for medical appointments is unpaid unless the employer says otherwise - but not sick pay. Generally, the majority of employers would expect a full day for medical appointments to be taken as unpaid leave or annual leave.

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In which case those days should be clawed back by the company as overpayments? Forgive me for double checking but this could work to the benefit of the employee so are you absolutely sure? Employees tell their line manager why they won't be at work so booking the day as sick leave isn't done by the employee themselves - it will have been a mistake by line managers or HR.

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Have you checked every piece of paper associated with that policy for the word “discretionary “?

 

Did the employee have the option to book holiday but chose another option? How exactly was the leave booked? Did they have available holiday days at the time?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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did they even ASK? first thing I would have done, they might well have been given the time off as discretionary if it was for something that might well become a disability issue later down the line.

MY employer would usually not count hospital days but visits to the dentist would require you to make the time up over the next month

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did they even ASK? first thing I would have done, they might well have been given the time off as discretionary

Nobody would have thought to ask at the time - these odd days wouldn't have been an issue after all even if they were logged wrongly. It's only when a large amount of time off is needed later on which could trigger a threshold it's causing a problem for people.

 

MY employer would usually not count hospital days but visits to the dentist would require you to make the time up over the next month

Not unreasonable if possible and productive. In some situations though it's not easy to 'make time up'. Requiring someone to sit at their desk for a couple of hours just for the sake of it wouldn't be of any use to anyone.

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Did the employee have the option to book holidayicon but chose another option? How exactly was the leave booked? Did they have available holiday days at the time?

I think (fairly sure) they would tell their line manager they'd be off that day and never even think to make a point of asking how it was booked on the system.

 

It does make sense for that person to check whether they used up their holiday entitlement for that period - something which is highly unlikely.

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well, clearly they are in warm water over this, if not hot water so although it may not be possible to undo what is done it makes sense to clarify the position for the future.

making up time is more than sitting at a desk in almost every job I have ever done and that includes working in factories on a shift system. making up time then would hve included the moving of stock around the factory, inventory, cleaning down etc, all stuff that would normally be doneinside usual working hours but by doing them as extra duties make the rest of the week more productive. Sometimes the willingness is enough and then you get the nod to go home without completing the necessary hours

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In which case those days should be clawed back by the company as overpayments? Forgive me for double checking but this could work to the benefit of the employee so are you absolutely sure? Employees tell their line manager why they won't be at work so booking the day as sick leave isn't done by the employee themselves - it will have been a mistake by line managers or HR.

Yes, quite sure. Sick leave is defined as a period of time that you are sick. It is important because sickness equally relates to SSP claims - not just occupational sick pay. It's a "right" that works in reverse - there is actually no right at all to time off for medical appointments of any kind. So technically the employer can refuse permission to be absent from work. But with hospital appointments, few employers would refuse because they understand that they cannot be scheduled in workers own time. So it is "made" into your time, either by not paying you or by your taking annual leave. Going to hospital is not an illness! A stay in hospital results from sickness, but it is the condition that is the sickness, not the hospital. The easiest way to differentiate is to say "would you otherwise be going to work on that day?" - if only the appointment is preventing you from going to work, you are clearly not sick!

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But, claiming sick pay for a hospital appointment when not sick could land up in a whole other bunch of problems. So please can you clarify exactly how the time off was booked and what was said; your opinion I am afraid is not robust enough.


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Ps I also asked if the word discretionary was in the policy etc... may have missed it, did you reply?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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I'd have to check with the individual what exactly was said but I am pretty sure they'd just have told their line manager they needed to book a day off for a hospital appointment. They would have no reason to check (or even care at the time) how their line manager then entered it on a system. It wouldn't have crossed their minds for an instant to bother about anything but letting someone know.

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I'd have to check with the individual what exactly was said but I am pretty sure they'd just have told their line manager they needed to book a day off for a hospital appointment. They would have no reason to check (or even care at the time) how their line manager then entered it on a system. It wouldn't have crossed their minds for an instant to bother about anything but letting someone know.

 

Please do check, and also the precise policy wording. Third time of asking - is there a reason you are not answering please?


Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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Sorry, I can't give you answers until I get them.

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