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A Comprehensive Guide to Attendance Management

TOOLS & RESOURCES

FAQs

Return to work discussions

On reaching a trigger point line managers must consider all the facts available and be aware of the circumstances of ...

On reaching a trigger point line managers must consider all the facts available and be aware of the circumstances of the particular employee’s situation. If an employee reaches the trigger of more than 8 days of short term sickness absence in a rolling 12 month period and their attendance gives management cause for concern this can be addressed at the RTWD and formal absence review meeting in accordance with the process for frequent sickness absence.

The RTWD should be a one to one discussion between the employee and line manager. However, in accordance with the Att...

The RTWD should be a one to one discussion between the employee and line manager. However, in accordance with the Attendance Management Policy and Procedure an employee is entitled to be accompanied at the RTWD by a trade union/professional organisation representative, colleague, friend or family member. In such circumstances, the line manager can ask to be accompanied by another manager/ depute. An HR representative will not routinely be in attendance at any Return to Work Discussion.

 

Frequent Absence

The process will not involve managers writing investigation reports and for some areas may reduce the work load and t...

The process will not involve managers writing investigation reports and for some areas may reduce the work load and time regarding referring a case to a disciplinary hearing. Following a formal absence review meeting, if a line manager has concerns regarding an employee’s level of attendance and wishes this to be considered at a disciplinary hearing then the line manager would supply the next in line manager with a SSTS print out, meeting outcome letter and any other relevant information.

A report is only required when an employee is being referred to a disciplinary hearing where one potential outcome is dismissal. In such cases, support can be provided by an HR representative to the manager when compiling a report to be submitted to the next in line manager.

The invite template letter requests that the employee contacts the manager, in advance, to advise if they will be att...

The invite template letter requests that the employee contacts the manager, in advance, to advise if they will be attending the meeting accompanied. Therefore, it is envisaged that there would be adequate time if a manager was to request for a HR Representative to also be present at the meeting which would be considered by HR Support and Advice Unit or the manager may wish to be accompanied by another manager/ deputy.

Yes, copies of all attendance template letters and appropriate documents are available via: Attendance Management &g...

Yes, copies of all attendance template letters and appropriate documents are available via:

Attendance Management > Tools & Resources

Yes, copies of all attendance template letters and appropriate documents are available via  Attendance Management >...

Yes, copies of all attendance template letters and appropriate documents are available via  Attendance Management > Tools & Resources

Disciplinary Hearing

In cases being referred to a disciplinary hearing regarding frequent sickness absence there will not normally be HR r...

In cases being referred to a disciplinary hearing regarding frequent sickness absence there will not normally be HR representation at the formal absence review meeting unless this is complex or the employee has intimated that they will be accompanied. Therefore, if a manager has any questions regarding the outcome from a Formal Absence Review meeting and whether it is reasonable to refer to the next in line manager for consideration at a disciplinary hearing advice from the HR Support & Advice Unit can be sought. 

One purpose of sending the employee a copy of the meeting outcome letter to agree that the contents are accurate or t...

One purpose of sending the employee a copy of the meeting outcome letter to agree that the contents are accurate or to highlight amendments is to reduce any potential for future dispute, including at the disciplinary hearing. Therefore, any disputes regarding the information in the meeting outcome letter should be resolved prior to a disciplinary hearing. The manager who oversaw the attendance process is required to be present at the disciplinary hearing to discuss any inconsistencies and to answer any questions as per the Board’s Disciplinary Policy & Procedure.

Yes, if requested an HR Representative can be present to support the presenting manager in cases of potential dismiss...

Yes, if requested an HR Representative can be present to support the presenting manager in cases of potential dismissal. An HR representative will always be present to support the disciplinary chair

The manager who conducted the Formal Absence Review meeting and has concerns regarding the employee’s attendance leve...

The manager who conducted the Formal Absence Review meeting and has concerns regarding the employee’s attendance levels is responsible for referring the case to the next in line manager for consideration at a disciplinary hearing and presenting this information at the disciplinary hearing. 

A disciplinary hearing invite letter should be sent to the employee at least 5 working days prior to the hearing date...

A disciplinary hearing invite letter should be sent to the employee at least 5 working days prior to the hearing date. To ensure that the employee has adequate time to prepare their case particularly when the issue is complex, it is advisable to give a longer period of notice of the disciplinary hearing.

The disciplinary outcome letter should be sent out within 5 working days from the date of the disciplinary hearing.

Both the disciplinary invite and disciplinary outcome letters are sent from the disciplinary chair. Templates are available via:

Attendance Management > Tools & Resources

If an employee returns the disciplinary outcome letter with amendments which are not agreed by the disciplinary panel...

If an employee returns the disciplinary outcome letter with amendments which are not agreed by the disciplinary panel then both copies of the letter (original and amended) should be retained together in the employee’s personal file for the warning duration.

The manager referring the case to the manager with authority to dismiss will prepare the report with HR reviewing thi...

The manager referring the case to the manager with authority to dismiss will prepare the report with HR reviewing this report prior to final submission. This report will consist of a summary of any meetings and support and will include meeting outcome letters, OHS reports and any other relevant documentation.

No, an HR Representative will be present as part of the disciplinary panel to provide policy advice to all parties pr...

No, an HR Representative will be present as part of the disciplinary panel to provide policy advice to all parties present.

Further Episodes of Sickness Following a Disciplinary Hearing

If an employee’s levels of attendance are to be monitored as an outcome of the formal absence review or disciplinary ...

If an employee’s levels of attendance are to be monitored as an outcome of the formal absence review or disciplinary hearing then the employee should be given an opportunity to improve. A manager should consider any further episodes of sickness absence and the reasons for this at the RTWD. If a manager does continue to have concerns regarding an employee’s levels of attendance then a formal absence review meeting should be arranged. Advice regarding this can be sought from the HR Support & Advice Unit for individual cases.

It is best practice to have an independent manager chair the disciplinary hearing who has not been involved in any pr...

It is best practice to have an independent manager chair the disciplinary hearing who has not been involved in any previous investigations, attendance meetings or disciplinary hearings for the employee. This is to prevent any concerns being raised that the disciplinary chair is biased due to previous involvement.

Long Term Sickness Absence

Yes, the line manager can be supported by an HR representative. However, not all Formal Absence Review meetings to di...

Yes, the line manager can be supported by an HR representative. However, not all Formal Absence Review meetings to discuss long term absence require an HR representative to be present. For example, if an employee has a fracture or undergone surgery there is no requirement for an HR representative to be present unless the recovery period becomes longer than the anticipated.

HR support will be available to managers when compiling outcome letters for long term sickness absence. Furthermore, ...

HR support will be available to managers when compiling outcome letters for long term sickness absence. Furthermore, comprehensive template letters have been drafted which should reduce the need to create/ produce lengthy letters which are available via

Attendance Management > Tools & Resources

If amendments are received from the employee this will result in amending the outcome letter if the manager is in agr...

If amendments are received from the employee this will result in amending the outcome letter if the manager is in agreement with the amendments. This should not result in excessive admin work. If the manager does not agree with the employees amendments then both the original and amended letter will be retained within the employee’s personal file. 

 In most cases it is likely that a HR Representative will be present to support the presenting manager for potential ...

 In most cases it is likely that a HR Representative will be present to support the presenting manager for potential dismissal cases. If there has not been a HR Representative involved with the case the relevant manager will require to contact HR Support and Advice Unit and request support.

Last Updated: 17 June 2019