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Old 18-03-09, 03:22 PM   #1
Paul the 6th
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Default So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

The missus works in a school as a teaching assistant where she's passing her time til september when she starts her PGCE. She has been off work yesterday and today with a banging sinus infection. She gets it quite often, full dizzyness, migranes, horrible green stuff, the works.

Last week the headmaster had all the staff in on a staff training day to run through these new "Sickness" rules. You're allowed 3 periods of sickness in a 3 month period. If you're off for 7 days, you need a sick note from the doctors...

She's called up today to say that she'll try to be in tomorrow but it's looking more like friday cos she doesn't feel any better. The headmasters secretary said that if she's off on friday, she'll need a sick note because they count saturday and sunday as a sickday, and since vicky only works tuesday to friday anyway, she will have had 7 days off (not 7 WORKING days, but 7 days regardless). So if she's off on friday, they will count the weekend as time off work, even though the school isn't open.

I can appreciate the rules are there to encourage people not to take pizzle with being off all the time, but the secretary said "well if you do end up taking tomorrow and friday off, you WILL need a doctors note but then you might as well take all of next week off, so then you can count it as a single period of sickness".

There's other staff at that school who've been signed off work for 3 months with pay. I can't get my head around the fact that they'll penalise the people who take a day or two off every once in a while, but they'll more or less actively encourage people to take almost 2 weeks off work with pay?

Are they allowed to count weekends & days off as sick days? I told vic she should offer to go in on saturday if she has to take friday off. Then she won't need a doctors note.

The other advice I gave her was to tell them to get funked and find another job. Vicky has worked in inclusion units (where the kids who can't be taught in mainstream education go, because their behaviour is so appalling) but she says the kids at this school are beyond help. The headmaster threatens the worst offenders with expulsion and then does nothing. He even suspended them all while ofsted came in, so that the school would look slightly better than last year. Then when ofsted left, he brought them all back in and more or less rewarded them for keeping out of the way. None of the other staff give a shizzle and vic gets no support when she tries to implement behaviour management i.e. "you're going to get a detention" or "you're going to end up in the isolation room if you carry on" then when she asked a fully fledged teacher to back her up, they just pat the kids on the head and say "oh I can't be bothered with you today, go and sit next to your friend" etc...


So to sum up, she hates her job and now (in my opinion) they're trying to take the pi55 out of her.

Any advice re: counting weekends as "working" or "sick" days?
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Last edited by Paul the 6th; 18-03-09 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 18-03-09, 03:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

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Originally Posted by Paul the 6th View Post
The missus works in a school as a teaching assistant where she's passing her time til september when she starts her PGCE. She has been off work yesterday and today with a banging sinus infection. She gets it quite often, full dizzyness, migranes, horrible green stuff, the works.

Last week the headmaster had all the staff in on a staff training day to run through these new "Sickness" rules. You're allowed 3 periods of sickness in a 3 month period. If you're off for 7 days, you need a sick note from the doctors...

She's called up today to say that she'll try to be in tomorrow but it's looking more like friday cos she doesn't feel any better. The headmasters secretary said that if she's off on friday, she'll need a sick note because they count saturday and sunday as a sickday, and since vicky only works tuesday to friday anyway, she will have had 7 days off (not 7 WORKING days, but 7 days regardless). So if she's off on friday, they will count the weekend as time off work, even though the school isn't open.

I can appreciate the rules are there to encourage people not to take pizzle with being off all the time, but the secretary said "well if you do end up taking tomorrow and friday off, you WILL need a doctors note but then you might as well take all of next week off, so then you can count it as a single period of sickness".

There's other staff at that school who've been signed off work for 3 months with pay. I can't get my head around the fact that they'll penalise the people who take a day or two off every once in a while, but they'll more or less actively encourage people to take almost 2 weeks off work with pay?

Are they allowed to count weekends & days off as sick days? I told vic she should offer to go in on saturday if she has to take friday off. Then she won't need a doctors note.

The other advice I gave her was to tell them to get funked and find another job. Vicky has worked in inclusion units (where the kids who can't be taught in mainstream education go, because their behaviour is so appalling) but she says the kids at this school are beyond help. The headmaster threatens the worst offenders with expulsion and then does nothing. He even suspended them all while ofsted came in, so that the school would look slightly better than last year.


So to sum up, she hates her job and now (in my opinion) they're trying to take the pi55 out of her.

Any advice re: counting weekends as "working" or "sick" days?
Technically they are in the right - she didnt have the weekend off from being sick did she (as in she wasnt fit and well on Sat/Sun)

So she will have been ill for those days even though she was not expected at work.

All companies use that rule - so telling them to stick it, while being satisfying, will not resolve that issue.

The time measured is the continuous time off.
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Old 18-03-09, 03:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

so can she not say "well I was feeling much better on saturday and sunday so it wasn't a 'sick day', I had a 'fun day"?
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Old 18-03-09, 03:39 PM   #4
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Default Re: So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

Hmmmm, think they're talking bo**ocks Paul.
As you might know from another thread, I went to hospital last Tuesday and my arm was put in a splint and I was told to rest it for a week but the d***splash I work for wanted me in work two days later. Rather than face a load of grief I went in for the thursday and friday, which caused some pain and didn't help my problem, so as the hospital was only down the road from work I called in and asked for a sick note, so that I could prove to my boss that I wasn't supposed to have gone in, but I was told that I couldn't have one because you self certificate for the first week and the doctor will give me a sick note after this period. Hope this helps clarify the situation.
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Old 18-03-09, 03:47 PM   #5
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Default Re: So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

From NHS choices website:

If you’re off work sick for seven days or less, your employer should not ask you for a sick note from your GP.
You will need a sick note if you’re off work sick for more than seven days.
The seven days include days that you don’t normally work. So when you work out how long you’ve been off sick, you should include weekends and bank holidays.
Sickness of seven days or less

Your employer can ask you to confirm that you’ve been ill. You can do this by filling in a form yourself when you return to work. This is called self-certification.
Self-certification forms

Self-certification forms usually include details such as:
  • information about your sickness or illness,
  • the date your sickness started, and
  • the date your sickness ended.
These dates may be days that you don’t normally work. For example, your sickness could start or end on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday.
Many employers have their own self-certification forms. If your employer doesn’t have their own form, instead they may use an SC2 form from HM Revenue & Customs – Employee’s Statement of Sickness (see the ‘further information’ section).
Sickness of more than seven days

If you’re sick and off work for more than seven days, your employer will normally ask you to provide a sick note from your GP.
When you need a sick note will also depend on your employer’s company policy on sick leave (or sickness absence). This policy should tell you how many days you can be off sick before you need a sick note.
To find out about your employer’s policy:
  • ask your team leader or supervisor, or
  • speak to someone from your human resources (HR) or personnel department.
Sick notes and how to get one

A sick note must be signed by a doctor, such as your GP, to say that you’re unfit to carry out your job. Sick notes are also sometimes called doctor’s notes, medical certificates or doctor’s statements.
If you need a sick note, you should make an appointment with your GP.
If you’re under the care of a hospital, your sick note may be issued by the hospital, rather than by your GP.
There’s usually no charge for providing a sick note if you’re off sick for more than seven days,
Charges for sick notes

Some employers may request a sick note, for example, from employees who repeatedly take time off sick, even if each time they’re off work, it’s for seven days or less.
For sickness of seven days or less, your GP surgery may charge you to provide a sick note. Your GP surgery will be able to advise you of their charges.
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Old 18-03-09, 04:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

Yip - Sat and Sun count, even if they are your rest days.
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Old 18-03-09, 06:47 PM   #7
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Default Re: So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

So being off Tuesday to monday counts as 7 days? And the HHS website says you self certificate for 7 days or less? Sounds like the school are talking Shiite
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Old 18-03-09, 06:53 PM   #8
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Default Re: So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

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So being off Tuesday to monday counts as 7 days? And the HHS website says you self certificate for 7 days or less? Sounds like the school are talking Shiite
Half shiite.

You are sick for the days that you report as being unfit for work. If she says that she would have been fit on the saturday then the school cannot count it, even though that is her rest day. If she just turns up on the monday then they will assume that was the first day she was fit to return (thats standard in most places) and record her last day of sickness as sunday, not friday.

As a further note, they cannot discipline her for being sick. What they can do is "manage" absence and point out that patterns of absence are suspicious and that it is affecting service (delivery of education to children!).
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Old 18-03-09, 06:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

Looks like a fairly standard public sector sickness and absence policy to me
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Old 18-03-09, 07:01 PM   #10
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Default Re: So they're now counting weekends & days off as working days...

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so can she not say "well I was feeling much better on saturday and sunday so it wasn't a 'sick day', I had a 'fun day"?
Yes she can, but that will count as two periods of sickness under the policy.

I got interviewed at work in December because I'd had three periods of sickness in 3 months. The fact that the total number of days I'd had off was only 4 counted for nothing.

Next time I'm ill I'm going make sure I'm properly better before returning to work and have only one period of sickness
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