It is essential that the effective implementation of the Attendance Management Policy is underpinned by the maintenance of accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date absence records for each individual employee. These records must be reviewed regularly in a systematic way, taking appropriate managerial action when required.
Where a review of a record reveals a pattern of intermittent sickness absence, this must be discussed with the employee at the earliest opportunity to establish whether an underlying problem exists. Whilst an explanation may be related to ill health, managers should also be aware that an unsatisfactory attendance pattern may be associated with social, domestic or work related pressures.
When assessing patterns of absence for employees both short term and long term absence should be taken into account. Although, for a period of long term absence consideration should be given to the reason and discretion used, if appropriate. The process for managing long term absence may be supported by an HR representative and consideration given to a management referral made to the Occupational Health Service.
When dealing with any attendance related issues a manager should approach the situation in a sensitive and sympathetic manner, and explore any support and assistance that may achieve an improvement. However, it should be made clear their attendance is giving cause for concern, must be improved to meet the standard required, and confirm it will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. Where the pattern of attendance continues to fall below the standard required, a referral for further consideration at a disciplinary hearing will be initiated under the terms of NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde Disciplinary Policy. When recommending a referral it is important to ensure all relevant documentation is in place to support the case.
Not all disciplinary hearings will result in a sanction being given. In addition, it is important to note the purpose of issuing disciplinary warnings is not primarily intended to be punitive, but rather to encourage a change in behaviour and to alert an employee to the fact that continued failure to meet the required standards could ultimately lead to their employment with NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde being terminated.