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Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

10 Feb 2020, 19:51

Hi

23.5 hours 3 day cover duty approx. last 12 months, employed at rm 4.5 years

I recently {today} returned from a period of sick leave for which I supplied a doctors signed certificate - it was supplied a few days into my absence but for the min period he felt I needed to recover, yesterday, sunday.

I was absent in the 1st week 2 duty days, which led into my long weekend, and the next week I was absent for 3 duty days, which led into what was a weeks a/l, but as I was still in recovery and laid up I claimed the 3 days that week as sickness absence, as well.

total duty days missed 8.

on returning I was told that its rm policy to count all days, whether working duty days or rest days - non working days, as counting towards the total absence.

Therefore I was told that in RM eyes my absence was of 18 days, counting duty days off, non working days off including the Saturday/sunday on my long weekend and the following sunday.

I was somewhat flummoxed by this - the union rep told me that it was correct, but if possible,as my return was today, and the hours hadn't been sent over from last week, I may be able to change the last week of sick absence back to my original a/l, and that that would reduce the absence by 7 days and avoid a stage. He said if that happened I would be paid my 3 days as a/l rather than have 7 days added to my absence and be paid the 3 days as sick - does that make sense? claim 3 days sick pay and get 7 days absence?

My contract says I work 23.5 hours a week but true it does not state when or what days I work - its non specific, and does not mention the cover duty I am on, but I applied for the duty and was accepted and have been on the 4 week rota for a year, its ambiguous at best, and to part timers it applies a full time commitment to rm in regards to sickness periods, rather than reflecting their part time hours and commitments

My rep has said that RM consider all days, even non working days, as absences, when they are in a period of sick leave, and that all employees are required to be fit and available to work, even on their rest days. If an employee is in an absence period of sick leave then its considered that they were not fit and able on their rest days and so this too will count in the total absence totting up procedure.

This would mean that on my non working days I would need to be ready fit and able to work, and that of course would mean I could not plan a life outside work, which is madness, and so why is it applied to non working (rest) days, seems the union have sold out the part timers, again, at some point - hope im wrong!

My approach is I work on a rota 3 days a week, on my duty days and have done for some time.

If I was asked to work different days or hours I would need a week or so to make arrangements in order that I could change my work patterns, fit and able or not!

I have refused to sign any 'back to work' appraisal or 'stage', when it arrives, whilst I seek advice.

This seems unfair and unjust, any one know if this is correct?

thanks in advance, sorry for such a long explanation, just wanted to explain properly.
Last edited by sardonicus on 10 Feb 2020, 21:13, edited 1 time in total.

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

10 Feb 2020, 20:02

quite simple
when off sick, all days count until your phone back to say your fit and ready

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

10 Feb 2020, 20:15

gimba wrote:quite simple
when off sick, all days count until your phone back to say your fit and ready


Why?

How can I be absent when its not a working day? If I get sick pay its only for the duty days I missed, so how can I be absent on non working days, they are not paid days and do not qualify for sick pay?

Surely I can only be absent on days Im scheduled to work? and Sundays hows it possible to be absent? part timers sold down the river, as usual, yet again, until the CWU want our votes it seems..

thanks for your reply Gimba

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

10 Feb 2020, 21:05

i dont agree with this either if they count sunday then you should be paid sundays allowance as you get dhss benefit on a sunday if sick

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

11 Feb 2020, 00:15

Statutory sick pay, includes non-working days, and so do the fitnotes, unfortunatly the system records the amount of days we are sick rather than the days we miss at work, if you only booked the days you were sick, then you could end up with mutiple sick absences which could trigger the stages too.

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

11 Feb 2020, 07:26

This isn't unique to royal mail. I thought all companies calculated sick leave in this way so a mon to fri job would count the weekend as well.?

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

11 Feb 2020, 08:20

sardonicus wrote:
gimba wrote:quite simple
when off sick, all days count until your phone back to say your fit and ready


Why?

How can I be absent when its not a working day? If I get sick pay its only for the duty days I missed, so how can I be absent on non working days, they are not paid days and do not qualify for sick pay?

Surely I can only be absent on days Im scheduled to work? and Sundays hows it possible to be absent? part timers sold down the river, as usual, yet again, until the CWU want our votes it seems..

thanks for your reply Gimba


I strongly disagree with this system and I'm also not the greatest fan of the Union at the moment but what has your part timer comment got to do with anything? This system applies to everyone whether PT or FT

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

11 Feb 2020, 09:22

Why would you strongly disagree with it?
Most companies seem to follow this rule. If you signed-off sick for seven consecutive days would you expect the period to be broken down to eliminate the Saturday and Sunday, or are you only ill on working days?

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

11 Feb 2020, 11:39

This has always been the way and yes it does suck big time. All you can do to minimise it is to phone in the day before your rest day or on the saturday if you are going to be back on the monday and advise management you will be returning and your absence should end prior to these days off. Of course if you then fail to return to work after your days off/sunday they will then be included in you absence time. Oh and check the dates when you have your back to work meeting they have a habit of getting the days wrong and don't like correcting them!

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

11 Feb 2020, 12:08

Hi and thanks for your comments

I appreciate that I may be taking a simplistic view on this matter, but the fact remains the same.

I was signed off as unfit to work for a period. The period I was signed off for included 8 working days and 10 non working days, including 2 sundays.

I would therefore expect 8 absences from work.

In my opinion, rm should only be concerned with the scheduled days I was to work, and not rest days. The fact I supplied , very early, a medical certificate stating that for a given period I was unfit to work should be enough for rm to count me as absent on the days I couldn't do my duty. The fact that the period also included non working days should not concern rm. As long as when I returned the period of my absence was covered in full by my medical certificate, it should indeed be counted as 1 absence, and only the duty days I was absent for should be counted, because they are the only days I missed from work.

If I was to work days other than my duty they would be counted as overtime, which is a choice, and therefore by not being able to work I could not obviously work on my rest days as I was incapable. I cant see how I can be penalised by an absence for days I was not due to work, days I did not obviously offer myself for ot, i.e days I was not absent.

On my return and providing a medical certificate for the whole absence (which I had already done earlier in the absence for the whole absence), the manager should calculate missed working days and calculate them as absent days.

I understand their is a possibility of sickness causing issues with multiple absences, but these I understand are more about self certificates, minor absences etc etc and in these cases on return the worker should declare he was off with one illness or more, and these multiple cases should be treated as separate illnesses if that is the case.

but that's not my concern or problem - that's the employers problem to deal with.

I also agree that this should be applied equally to all employees full or part time - if you are full time and illness means that you are off over a weekend with an illness you should declare on your return that it was one illness and the sunday should not count towards your absent day totting up.

The present system is unfair to part timers especially because their commitment to rm is less yet they are dealt with the same as full timers i.e if a full timer was signed off for 7 days, they would be marked as absent for 7 days, but miss 5 working days, however, if a 3 day cover was off for 7 days they would be marked as absent for 7 days but miss 3 working days?

I accept my train of thought may be simplistic and am happy to be corrected/educated differently.

As a part timer everything is pro rata in respect of holiday and bank holidays, delivering other peoples paid d2d when we work our days off, etc etc but not for illness/absent days - seems unfair, but I was not intending to play one f/t off against the other p/t, that was not my intention, My beef is with the management/ system. obviously the system is steered towards punishing part time workers for absence more quickly than full time workers.

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

11 Feb 2020, 16:55

Sick starts the 1st day you go sick, it ends the last day you are sick every day counts, whether it's your day off or a Sunday. Most if not all businesses use this method. As said in previous comments you must tell them on your last day of sick that you are now fit to work and that you will be back at work on your next scheduled shift. I wouldn't use my A/L either. Unless you are off sick a lot I wouldnt worry about it.

Told today that my recent period of sick leave includes non working days? stage will be applied..

11 Feb 2020, 17:19

Generally considered to be better to have one longer consecutive period of sickness than two separate ones.
Logic would dictate if you were sick for a number of days either side of the weekend then you would have been sick during the weekend as well.
We have had people off for extended periods of time including one for sixteen months for heart problems and they come back with no problems from management generally. Does it matter if you go on report as I understand it that status expires after a period of time?
We have had posties in our DO in the past who knew how to time the days between each sickness so they didn't get into trouble. That guy started to only go sick on Saturdays though so he got into trouble anyway.

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