SECTION 2 – Terms and Conditions of Service
SUB SECTION 6 - SICKNESS
Occupational Sick Leave
2.62 Paid sick leave is applicable from the commencement of employment. There is no entitlement to such pay within a period of unpaid leave.
2.63 Entitlement to paid sick leave is dependent upon the production of self-certified or medical ’Statement of Fitness for Work’ certificate for each day of sickness. The employer reserves the right to withdraw paid sick leave where no valid sick certificate is supplied in the way previously described or in cases where the sickness is as a result of inappropriate behaviour on the part of the employee.
2.64 Maximum permitted paid sick leave in any 12-month period is 10 working weeks for all Dep employees. For this purpose breaks in service occurring during the twelve month period will be ignored and where more than one contract of employment has been in operation over the 12 month period, all sickness will be aggregated towards the 10 week total.
(Note: Dep employees who remain continuously sick over the eligibility cycle have no recurring entitlement to paid sick leave.)
2.65 Dep employees contracted to work on a regular basis as group 3 or 4 will be due sick pay based on work patterns in the preceding 3 month period, or according to a forecast of hours for the current month provided by the line manager.
2.66 The following arrangements for notification and certification apply:
- If a Dep employee is unfit for work they, or someone on their behalf, must notify the employing unit on the first day of absence. If the period of sickness lasts for seven calendar days or less the employee, on return to work, must immediately present a self-certified sick form to his/her employer. A self-certified sick form cannot be backdated more than two days (see Annex I to this instruction). If the sick absence exceeds seven calendar days a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ certificate issued by a medical centre must be obtained. Sick leave without a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ certificate or a self-certified sick form is not permissible and any days of sickness not covered by a certificate will be deemed as unauthorised absence. Employing units are to forward all sick certificates to the DBS BFG DEP Pay Team without delay.
- Once a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ certificate (see Appx 1 to Annex I) has been issued for any period of sickness, further self-certified sickness forms will not be accepted unless the employee has resumed work for at least one full day. Any period of self-certified sickness immediately following a medical centre certificate will be treated as unauthorised absence.
- A backdated ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ certificate by more than two days will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.
- When an individual falls ill during a period of paid or unpaid leave, and they wish to claim back the paid leave days, they should obtain a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ certificate to cover the period of illness. If on unpaid leave the individual will remain on unpaid leave as this cannot be amended to sick leave. The individual is further required to inform the employing unit or their parent LEC HR as soon as possible about this unfitness for work and its expected duration. If abroad (i.e. outside Germany) the individual is also required to inform the employing unit, or the LEC HR, by the fastest possible means about the expected length of sickness and the contact address whilst overseas. Reasonable costs for this notification may be refunded by the employer provided receipts are obtained. Paid leave days only may be credited back to the employee’s leave record on receipt of a certified doctors sick note covering the period of the unfitness for work. If an individual falls ill on their first day of unpaid leave and a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ certificate is provided at that time then the period covered by the certificate will be recorded as sick leave.
- In circumstances where it is considered that an individual is abusing the use of the self-certified certificate, the Head of Agency may request that the Dep employee submits a ‘Statement of Fitness for Work’ certificate for each period of sickness absence. However, before contemplating such action the employee is to be formally interviewed by the Head of Agency and advised of the reason for taking such action. At this interview it should be pointed out that the employee retains the right to appeal using the normal grievance procedure.
2.67 Dep employees are entitled to remain on full pay during periods of sickness up to the limits detailed at para 2.64. Dependants are not permitted to draw either pay and sickness benefit or Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and sickness benefit at the same time. All Dep employees are to certify their acknowledgement of this obligation by completing the certificate at Annex J to this instruction upon engagement. The certificate is to be retained by the LEC HR.
2.68 A Dep employee who does not qualify for sick pay from DBS DEP Pay Team, having been sick beyond the maximum period allowed at para 2.64, may still be entitled to receive SSP or to claim UK sickness benefits. Similarly, an employee who is not entitled to SSP may be entitled to claim sickness benefit. Detailed advice should be sought from the LEC HR who will obtain SSP exclusion form from the DBS DEP Pay Team (see para 2.74).
Statutory Sick Pay
2.69 Dep employees are entitled to receive Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) to a maximum of 28 continuous weeks in any three year period, provided they satisfy HM R&C eligibility criteria which may be obtained from the LEC HR.
2.70 To qualify for SSP there must be a period of incapacity for work (PIW) of four or more consecutive days of sickness (Sundays and public holidays are included).
2.71 SSP is only paid for days on which the employee would have worked and any public holidays which occur during a period of sick leave. Such days are termed as ‘qualifying days'. There must be at least one qualifying day in each week. However, if the employee is not due to work in a particular week the qualifying day for that week is deemed to be the Wednesday. (A week for this purpose begins on Sunday.)
2.72 SSP is not paid for the first three qualifying days except where two PIWs are less than 56 calendar days apart, in which case the PIWs are considered to be linked and the three waiting days in the second PIW are waived.
2.73 Occupational Sick Leave. Where an individual is entitled to payments of both Occupational Sick Pay (OSP) and Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) both schemes will run concurrently and the amount of OSP will equal the difference between SSP and the employees’ normal full basic rate of pay. Once OSP has been exhausted the employee may be entitled to receive SSP only (see para 2.69).
2.74 If on the first day of a PIW a Dep does not qualify for SSP for any reason, or they have received their full SSP entitlement, a form is issued to the employee by the DBS DEP Pay Team enabling the employee to claim sickness benefit from the Inland Revenue.
2.75 The employee’s average weekly earnings determine whether SSP is payable. Rates of SSP and earnings threshold are published annually by the inland revenue and are revised on 6 April each year. SSP is paid at Sterling rates converted to Euro at the current Government Accounting Rate (GAR).