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The health and well-being of our staff is a priority. This section of the Playbook covers how short and longer-term sickness absences are managed and supported.

The basics #

If you aren’t feeling well enough to work, you must let your line manager and a member of the People team know by 10:00 am, or as soon as you reasonably can after that. This can be done via email, direct message on Slack, or by posting in the #dxw-sickness channel on Slack. The People team will then open a sickness record for you on BreatheHR.

If you’re unwell and know that you’re going to be off for a period of time, or have been signed off by your GP until a certain date, you don’t need to update your line manager daily. Let them know when you will be checking in again so they know when to expect to hear from you.

Where possible we recommend letting people know if you are unable to attend meetings, due to your absence, or asking someone else to do this on your behalf.

If you’re unwell for more than 7 calendar days in a row, regardless of your FTE %, you’ll need to provide a doctor’s note to the People team, who will keep your line manager informed and support you where needed.

When you return to work, you must check your sickness has been correctly recorded in BreatheHR, by updating your sickness end date and sickness type. If none of the sickness type options provided in the drop down menu aligns with your specific situation, please select ‘other-please detail’ and provide a reason in the notes section. Please note that any information added to the notes section will only be visible to the People team and your line manager.

The People team will then review and close the sickness.

Pay #

Within a rolling 12 month period, you will receive:

These entitlements are pro-rated for staff who work non standard working patterns. The pro-rated amount is calculated based on the amount of days that you work per week.

Any exceptions to the above pay entitlements will be at the discretion of the Directors and will never be less than the entitlements outlined above. 

Absence meetings #

If you’ve been away from work for more than 7 calendar days in a row, regardless of your FTE %, your line manager will contact you upon your return to work. They’ll check in to see how you’re doing and see if you need any additional support during your return to work.

If your absence exceeds 15 working days, or pro-rated equivalent, in a rolling 12-month period, an informal meeting with your line manager will be scheduled. The purpose of this meeting is to provide an opportunity for discussing concerns, with an aim to intervene before there is any impact to your pay. These discussions will focus on your health and ways to provide ongoing support to you. 

For absences exceeding 20 working days, or pro-rated equivalent, within a rolling 12-month period, the People team will invite you and your line manager to an additional meeting. Here, discussions will look into customised support, potential adjustments, and the collaborative development of an action plan and review period lasting between 8-12 weeks as a minimum. If necessary, input from an Occupational Health advisor may be sought. 

We understand that attendance levels may fluctuate due to individual circumstances. We will consider situations on a case-by-case basis and explore appropriate measures. If we are unable to find a mutual resolution, after exploring all possible alternatives, we may have to consider the possibility of your dismissal. 

There may be occasions, where you’ve been absent frequently over a short amount of time or with noticeable patterns. It may be that your line manager or a member of the People team checks in with you. This chat is to make sure you’re okay, address any concerns, and figure out ways we can help.

Phased returns #

Phased returns are usually used when you’ve been away from work for a while or need changes to your usual way of working after being unwell. Your return will be customised to support you and make it easier for you to return to work.

The People team will stay in touch with you during your period of absence, and when you are ready to return, they will organise a meeting to discuss your return to work. This meeting will help decide if you are able to go back to your regular hours or if some adjustments would be better. The People team and your line manager will work together to make sure you get the support you need during this process.

Changes to this page must be approved by a member of the Senior Leadership Team.

Last updated: 24 January 2024 (history)