Sickness Absence Management

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2009 Energy Service Group Conference
2 March 2009

Conference notes with concern that many employers have introduced draconian measures to reduce rates of sickness absence. These measures often seek to diminish the status of GP’s certificates in favour of assessments by company appointed private Occupational Health practitioners. They also attempt to marginalise existing collective agreements of sickness absence and often make no distinction between employees with an underlying medical condition or long term sickness absence from those who take unconnected single day absences.

Conference deplores how these company actions have instilled a fear among members that in some cases have meant members returning to work too early while still ill, thus risking their own and their colleagues good health.

Conference agrees that paid sickness absence should not be abused and encourages branches to enter into joint agreements with employers to manage sickness absence in a firm but sympathetic manner. Conference urges all branches to defend their contractual sickness schemes and to vigorously oppose any company wanting to introduce unfair and unreasonable measures to reduce sickness absence statistics making use of the Disability Discrimination Act where appropriate.