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Managing staff sickness

Post date: 19/02/2018 | Time to read article: 2 mins

The information within this article was correct at the time of publishing. Last updated 01/04/2019

Dealing with staff absence can be a complex and time-consuming task for busy practices. Here employment law specialists Croner Consulting offer advice and guidance.

Serious staffing issues can have a detrimental effect on busy practices and the services you provide.

Medical Protection Practice Xtra members have access to the free business helpline of Croner Consulting, who can help practice managers navigate the often challenging employment law landscape. 
The top five reasons why practice managers call the Croner helpline are:

1)    Dealing with sickness absence
2)    Employee conduct 
3)    Dismissal
4)    Employment policies
5)    Performance management

In this blog we look at the number one reason you call us: dealing with sickness absence. 

There are three types of sickness absence 
Jane Oakland, who is an employment consultant from Croner and regularly takes calls from Medical Protection members, said: “Most practices are small, so if there is an issue of long term sickness it has a real impact, down to who is going to cover reception on that day.

“There are three types of sickness absence at practices that we encounter: regular short term sickness, which can happen most weeks or months for no good reason; those who are frequently ill but with good reason; and those on long term sickness.”

Supporting sick staff
“Those on long term sick generally benefit from more generous sick pay arrangements, and for a small practice their absence can put a real strain on resources. 

“When we take calls about long term sickness, we advise practice managers to invite the employee to a case review meeting to find out about the situation, how long they will be off for and whether they will be able to return to work. 

“It may be that they are able to return to work, but will need extra breaks and other adjustments in order to do so. We would also ask for a medical report. 

“If the employee has exhausted their sick pay entitlement we would seek information from their doctor about whether they are able to come back to work. If their doctor and the employee agree that they are unable to, then practices may be in a position to dismiss on the grounds of capability.

“For short term sickness absence where it is frequent and with no good reason, then we would assist you in managing them into meeting your expectations.”

Find out more
Croner is the UK’s leading provider of information, advice and support in the areas of employment law and health and safety. Their qualified specialists have the experience to fully understand the issues and concerns you face working in general practice.

Advice line
All Practice Xtra members can benefit from free access to the Croner helpline, for legal advice and support with matters including sickness and absence, holiday, pay and employee rights. Whatever you need to know they will provide you with information you can trust, whenever you need it. Find out more here.

Time-saving resources
Gold Practice Xtra members can benefit from free access to the Croner-i Professional Practice Manager website. It’s a resource for everyday management, with a range of templates you can download and customise for yourself, including model policies, ‘how to’ guides, sample letters and forms. 

When you join Practice Xtra we’ll let you know how to contact the Croner business support advice line. 

If you are a Gold Practice Xtra practice you can also access online support to help with a range of activities including staff management, training and development, health and safety and patient services.

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