Removal of Intolerable Sickness Absence Sanctions

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2004 National Delegate Conference
27 February 2004
Carried as Amended

Conference condemns the introduction of intolerant and mandatory sickness absence sanctions such as the Bradford score, when used as part of managing attendance policies.

The Bradford score can be set at any trigger point, whereby after a number of days off or a number of spells of absence a management action occurs.

This crude approach could result in punitive sanctions being applied to employees whose attendance record is otherwise perfectly normal, and if rigidly applied, will fail to take account of the person who has had an exemplary record for ten years and then has a longer spell of sickness.

Conference believes that the only way to actively administer an effective attendance management policy is via the introduction of proactive and effective health and safety risk assessment, meaningful appropriate occupational health and effective welfare at work. Until employers have adopted these processes, any attempt to introduce a managing attendance policy/procedure is meaningless and only serves to intimidate and put further pressure on our members unreasonably.

Conference instructs the National Executive Council to:

1)provide branches and safety representatives with dedicated advice and guidance relating to risk assessment, occupational health and welfare at work;

2)conduct a survey of branches to identify both good and bad practice relating to attendance management and provide a written report on the findings;

3)update the UNISON document Control or Management based on the findings of the survey and in consultation with the National Health and Safety Committee.