Sickness Absence Procedures

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Conference
2007 National Delegate Conference
Date
21 February 2007
Decision
Carried as Amended

Conference notes that:

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

2)these procedures sometimes fail to abide by equalities legislation including the Disability Discrimination Act;

3)sickness absence can often be traced back to the workplace;

4)employers’ actions such as holding vacant posts, increased workloads, long hours, workplace conditions, constant uncertainty and reorganisations and a failure to deal with bullying and harassment are a cause of sickness absence;

5)these sickness procedures must be seen in the same context as the attacks on public sector pensions. They want workers to work longer, leading to a deteriorating effect on their health;

6)the employers are being driven by Performance Indicators to adopt a league table approach to sickness.

Conference therefore calls on the National Executive Council to:

a)fight these attacks on a national collective basis;

b)vigorously support branches fighting these procedures;

c)oppose the disciplining or sacking of genuinely ill workers;

d.campaign against these discriminatory procedures;

e)campaign for the introduction, by employers, of positive policies such as Disability Leave Schemes;

f)provide the necessary training and support for branches fighting these procedures;

g)link this training to the work being done through UNISON National Safety Committee on Managing Sickness Absence.