Sickness Absence

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2006 Transport Service Group Conference
15 March 2006
Carried as Amended

Conference notes:

1.that employers are adopting increasingly draconian procedures which allow for an increase in the disciplining and dismissal of genuinely ill employees;

2.that it is often the case that the same employers are failing to abide by health and safety procedures or the Disability Discrimination Act;

3.that one of the single largest causes of genuine sickness absence has been identified as stress. For many workers their sickness absence can be traced back to the workplace;

4.that it is clear that the employers’ actions are the cause of sickness absence for many genuinely ill employees. Vacant posts, increased workloads, long hours, workplace conditions, constant uncertainty and reorganisations and a failure to deal with bullying and harassment will all have a direct effect on sickness levels;

5.that the increasingly draconian sickness procedures being adopted by employers must be seen in the same contexts as the attack on public service pensions.

6.that employers are adopting a league table approach to sickness with employers competing to see who has the lowest sickness levels. This approach encourages disciplinaries and dismissals as a way of getting quick results;

7.that while continuing to fight on a case by case basis our union must also fight this attack on a collective basis and oppose the disciplining of genuinely ill employees.

Conference agrees:

a)to condemn the employers’ league table approach;

b)to demand that employers tackle the root causes of work-related sickness;

Conference instructs the Service Group Executive:

i)through the sector committees, to resist the introduction of these procedures.

ii)to draw branches attention, via a circular, to the availability of advice, guidance and support, including information about negotiating disability leave agreements that protect disabled members from being discriminated against when they take leave related to their disability.