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Police Mutual

Sickness

Thanks have to go to Jerry Taylor for creating this FAQ for our site. Policies and procedures change regularly and therefore should you have any queries, you should contact with your BCU/Departmental Federation Representative at the Federation Office. You can view the relevant Home Office Guidance here

To see how the Winsor proposals on restricted officers may affect you, please click here- updated 4/2/2014


What should I do when I report sick?
What if it’s an injury on duty?
What if I have to go sick part way through a tour of duty?
What about resuming?
What if I’m on annual leave and have to go sick?
What about holidays when I am on the sick?
What about attending Flint House?
What about the Federation chalets?
If I go sick, will I be subject of UPP?
What about removal of the right to self-certify absence up to 7 days?
Has the Line Manager got to give me any notice of the Management Intervention interview?
Can I be represented by the Federation during the Management Intervention interview?
Can they impose the Action Plan?
Can I appeal against the Action Plan?
What is the Health Management and Attendance Board (HMAB)?
What if it's an injury on duty?
What if I can't return to work by the stated date or breach one of the other criteria?
What are the stages?
Can I be sacked?
What if they set a date for a return which is not achievable?
What about starting back on recuperative duties?
What if I return and then can't get back to my core duties within the 28 days?
What if I can return to work in a restricted capacity although it is unlikely I will be able to return to my core substantive duties within that time because for example I am waiting for surgery or recovering from it?
Do I have to wait to hear from the HMAB?
Can I appeal against the decision or Action Plan?
What about UPP Action Plans set when I am on restricted duties?
How long do these restricted duties last?
What about ill health retirement?
What about modified OST?
If I can't return to work in any capacity for a long time, what about pay?
What about the Federation Insurance?
What does the Federation Insurance cover then?
What about contact with the Organisation during a period of sickness?
What about the Force paying for operations?
Have the Force got to make reasonable adjustments?


What should I do when I report sick?

You must notify your Line Manager immediately by telephone or within an hour of the commencement of what would have been your tour of duty. Try and inform your Line Manager of how long you are likely to be off. If your absence is likely to be in excess of 14 days, you are advised to contact your Divisional Federation Representative. If your sickness absence is in respect of stress/anxiety related issues, your Line Manager must immediately make a referral to the Counselling and Trauma Team. Make contact with them yourself in any event.

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What if it’s an injury on duty?

Ensure Form 64b is submitted immediately. Go online to www.pfclaimline.co.uk as you may have a civil claim. Depending on the circumstances, you may also be able to claim from the CICA and DWP for an industrial injury. Contact the Federation Office at Briton Ferry.

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What if I have to go sick part way through a tour of duty?

Inform your Line Manager immediately. Generally, that day will not be counted towards your sickness absence.

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What about resuming?

Resume as soon as you consider yourself fit for work even if this means resuming onto a rest day. This way, the number of days recorded as sickness absence will exclude the rest days if you intend resuming work after them.

What if I’m on annual leave and have to go sick?

Sickness absence will take primacy over annual leave. However, you will have to obtain a Doctors MED3 certificate of sickness absence to cover the entire period.

What about holidays when I am on the sick?

Providing your holiday, or any other activity for that matter, does not impede, interfere with or is detrimental to your recovery there should be no issues. However, you must inform your Line Manager and it is good practice to seek guidance from your GP before going.

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What about attending Flint House?

If you attend Flint House during a period of sickness, the attendance will be recorded as such. If you are in the workplace, it will not be so counted.

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What about the Federation chalets?

One of the chalets is available for recuperative purposes although attendance is in your own time. Contact Kay at the Federation Office for details or go onto the website at our chalets.

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If I go sick, will I be subject of UPP?

SWP policy is to treat all sickness as genuine. However, there are occasions when Line Managers should CONSIDER instigating the UPP process at the Management Intervention stage. The circumstances are:-

1. 3 or more absences in the previous 12 months
2. Absence of over 28 days
3. Bradford Score of over 200
4. Pattern of absence.

Having CONSIDERED the circumstances, the Line Manager may instigate Management Intervention setting an Action Plan with various criteria. In the main, those criteria will be to return to the workplace by a certain date and maintain attendance so as to improve your Bradford Score over a period of 3 months. In exceptional circumstances, that period can be extended to 6 months. There may however be additional criteria set depending on the circumstances of your absence.

What about removal of the right to self-certify absence up to 7 days?

The Force accept there are no grounds to remove the right to self-certify absence of up to 7 days and there is no legal entitlement to do so.

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Has the Line Manager got to give me any notice of the Management Intervention interview?

No. However, it surely is best practice to set a convenient time, date and place as the relevant Action Plan must be completed for agreement and signature.

Can I be represented by the Federation during the Management Intervention interview?

There is no entitlement to be represented but it has been accepted as best practice by the Professional Standards Department and Health Care and Safety Team to allow representation if you so wish. If you want representation, inform your Line Manager before the interview and contact your BCU/Departmental Federation Representative.

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Can they impose the Action Plan?

Yes, but clearly it is always better to try and reach agreement on a reasonable, achievable and sustainable Action Plan.

Can I appeal against the Action Plan?

Yes, you can appeal to the next Line Manager as with all the stages of UPP. Seek the advice of your BCU/Departmental Federation Representative.

What is the Health Management and Attendance Board (HMAB)?

The HMAB is Chaired by the Director of HR and consists of representatives from Human Resources, Health Care & Safety Team and Legal Services Dept. We also attend to make representations on behalf of Officers discussed. It is therefore important you contact us if you receive notification or information in respect of any referral to the HMAB.

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What if it's an injury on duty?

Injuries on duty and pregnancy related absences should be excluded from the Trigger Points and Bradford Score. Linked absences will generally be counted as one for these purposes. If it is an injury on duty, ensure Form F64b is submitted to your Administration Department and send a copy to the Federation office. If your absence is pregnancy related contact your Divisional Pregnancy Champion for advice and assistance or one of the Reserve Seat Federation Representatives Caroline Grisley, Julia Tyler or Clare Biddlecombe.

What if I can't return to work by the stated date or breach one of the other criteria?

Where there is a breach you will move to Stage 1 of the process, your Line Manager must notify you in writing of the time, date and place of the interview. You are entitled to be represented at that meeting and you should therefore contact your BCU/Departmental Federation Representative as soon as possible.

What are the stages?

The first stage is 'Management Intervention' intended to be informal. The second is the 'First Formal Stage', third is the 'Second Formal Stage' and fourth 'Third Stage Meeting'.

Can I be sacked?

The entire procedure is intended to be supportive process as oppose to punitive. The Organisation have a part to play in providing that support and assistance. However, at the 'Third Stage Meeting', the ultimate sanction for the Deputy Chief Constable is the requirement to resign.

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What if they set a date for a return which is not achievable?

It is important to engage in a Regulatory process which deals with sickness absence. Reasonable, achievable and sustainable criteria should be negotiated although target dates will be set if one cannot be agreed.

What about starting back on recuperative duties?

There are circumstances when you can return to recuperative duties although only when you are able to resume your core substantive duties within 28 days of returning. Again, contact your BCU/Departmental Federation Representative .

What if I return and then can't get back to my core duties within the 28 days?

Your Line Manager must refer your case to the HMAB who can extend that period by a further 28 days.

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What if I can return to work in a restricted capacity although it is unlikely I will be able to return to my core substantive duties within that time because for example I am waiting for surgery or recovering from it?

Your Line Manager, in consultation with the Divisional Command Team should consider the appropriateness of such a rerun. An Action Plan should be prepared and e-mailed to the Health Care & Safety Team for consideration by the HMAB who will give direction and advice on duties to be undertaken along with use of UPP if appropriate. You are advised to contact your Divisional Federation Representative.

Do I have to wait to hear from the HMAB?

No. Providing your Line Manager is in agreement, your return should not be held up simply while your case is being referred to and considered by the HMAB although referral should still be made.

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Can I appeal against the decision or Action Plan?

Yes, to the HMAB and you should contact your BCU/Departmental Federation Representative.

What about UPP Action Plans set when I am on restricted duties?

The Force's current approach is that, irrespective of the core duties and role you perform, if you do not have an operationally deployable capability, you may, after medical opinion, be determined restricted. Time gates will be set within Action Plans to achieve that operational capacity. It is therefore important you make regular contact with your Fed rep who will be able to update the HMAB and make representations on your behalf.

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How long do these restricted duties last?

Generally they will last no longer that 12 months during which the condition has improved and the restriction lifted or it may become evident it is of a permanent nature. Consideration may be given to referring you to a Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) for a decision on permanence. In such circumstances, if you have not already done so, you are urged to contact your fed rep.

What about ill health retirement?

Since Police Reform and as a consequence of Home Office and PNB Guidance, the emphasis is on the retention of Officers who are determined by an SMP to be 'permanently disabled from performing the ordinary duties of a member of the Police Force'.

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What about modified OST?

Currently, the modified OST programme is only available to Officers who are medically determined to be 'permanently disabled' by an SMP or 'permanently restricted' by the Force Medical Advisor.

If I can't return to work in any capacity for a long time, what about pay?

After a continuous period of 6 months absence or an accumulated period of 6 in the last 12, consideration will be given by an ACC to reducing your pay to half. There are strict criteria when the ACC can consider affording favourable discretion and you should contact your fed rep. If you do move to half pay, or even where discretion is afforded, you should claim Employment Support Allowance from the DWP.

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What about the Federation Insurance?

For sometime now, the Federation Insurance has not made payments to Officers who have their pay cut.

What does the Federation Insurance cover then?

If you are unfortunate to be diagnosed with a critical illness, the Company must be informed of the diagnosis within 90 days of it being made. If you are hospitalized, there are circumstances you will receive payment for the nights you are in.

What about contact with the Organisation during a period of sickness?

Regular contact must be maintained with your Line Manager throughout your absence particularly if it is long term. There are circumstances where contact can be with another nominated individual and advice should be sought from your Divisional Federation Representative.

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What about the Force paying for operations?

The Force has a limited budget for Private Medical Intervention and there are criteria set for those who wish to claim from it. You should contact the Health Care & Safety Team for the relevant forms.

Have the Force got to make reasonable adjustments?

If you are for the purposes of the Disability Discrimination Act 'disabled' the Organisation is legally bound to make reasonable adjustments enabling you to return to or remain within the workplace. Provision of specialist equipment and office furniture can also be arranged although you should contact Access to Work yourself as the process is client led.

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