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Sickness absence

Important guidance on what to do to report and manage sickness absence

Reporting your Sickness Absence

If you are ill and unable to attend work, please follow this process:

  • contact your line manager or appointed deputy within 30 minutes of your usual start time (or as agreed by your Head of Department)

  • your manager will need to know some basic details such as: the reason for your absence, how long you expect to be absent from work; your contact details; whether your reason for absence is work-related

  • continue to keep in contact with your line manager during your period of absence.

Your manager is responsible for logging your absence on iTrent via Manager Self Service.

Short-term absence

Short-term absence is defined as sporadic episodes of sickness, normally without an identified underlying health cause.

Throughout your absence you should maintain contact with your line manager to keep him/her appraised of your health, and when you feel you may return to work.

Long-term absence

Long-term absence is defined as a period of sickness, normally with an underlying health cause, which normally lasts for more than 4 weeks continuously. It can sometimes affect a member of staff periodically with a single diagnosed medical cause linked to a chronic long-term medical condition.

We want to support you and if possible help you to return to work after a long term absence. It's important that you and your line manager keep in touch during long periods of sickness absence.

Returning to work & recording your return

Short-term absence of less than seven calendar days

  1. Log into Employee Self Service (iTrent) using your normal University username and password on the day you return to work.
  2. Select "End a sickness absence".
  3. Enter an end date.
  4. Click "Save" at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Your manager will be sent details of the absence ending.

Your line manager will arrange a return to work discussion as soon as possible.

Short-term absence of more than seven calendar days

Follow the above guidance for recording your return to work via Employee Self Service. You'll also need to obtain a 'Fit Note' (MED3 form) from your GP and send this to your line manager so he/she receives this within five working days of receipt of the Fit Note.  Guidance for line managers on understanding and using Fit Notes is available.

Long-term absence

When you are ready and able to return to work, contact your line manager and/or HR to discuss your return to work. You should also expect your line manager to make contact with you.  When you have returned to work follow the above guidance for recording your return to work via Employee Self Service.

How to correct spells of sickness

Your manager can arrange for this to be done by contacting HR and requesting that iTrent is corrected

Monitoring absence

Your manager will normally have a return to work discussion with you to check that you are fit to return, consider your absence and identify any actions to be taken and to bring you up to date with work from your period of absence. If you have had repeated absence or your absence is related to an underlying medical cause your discussion may take the form of an interview following the prompts in the return to work form in which the form may be completed.

Managers are responsible for monitoring levels of sickness absence in their teams. As a manager you are responsible for recording sickness absence through Manager Self Service (iTrent). The Sickness Absence Policy & Procedure gives more detail how this happens. If you have any questions about managing sickness absence in your team please contact your HR Advisor/Manager.

Sickness Absence records

Fit Notes and Return-to-Work (RtW) forms contain highly confidential personal information and must be maintained confidentially at all times.

All fit notes should be uploaded onto the member of staff’s iTrent record by their line manager following the uploading guidance and that the original form is sent to Payroll. If the form is uploaded there is no need to keep a copy within the department as it can be accessed by the employee and all those responsible for them. It is recommended that RtW forms are also uploaded in the same way.

If any information on sickness absence is retained in the department, this must be kept confidentially at all times, e.g. in a lockable cabinet that is only routinely accessible by those with responsibility for managing the member of staff or other appropriately designated persons. 

Sick Pay

Your entitlement to sick pay is below. This entitlement does depend on you following the requirements of the policy and procedure:

Grades 1 - 5

Length of service Period of full pay Period of half pay
After 3 months 2 months 2 months
2-3 years’ service 3 months 3 months
4-5 years’ service 5 months 5 months
After 5 years’ service 6 months 6 months

Grades 6 - 9

Length of service Period of full pay Period of half pay
First 6 months’ service 2 weeks 2 weeks
6-12 months’ service 1 month 1 month
After 12 months’ service 6 months 3 months