Hospital staff with high sickness absence will forfeit pay rises
Thursday 28th October 2010
It has been reported that the Central Manchester University Hospitals Trust is introducing a new sickness absence policy as part of its drive to save £120 million over the next four years. The Policy was envisaged to come into effect on 1 October 2010. Under the terms of the new policy, hospital staff in Manchester who take more than 18 sick days, and/or take four separate periods of absence, will not be eligible for annual pay rises. According to a spokesperson for the Trust, the system will be discretionary and will not be applicable to staff with disabilities or long-term illness. Unite plan to take legal action on behalf of affected staff, arguing that the new policy will be in breach of their contracts.
It is envisaged that this will result in lengthy litigation. If this policy is introduced, it would be expected to be drafted exceptionally clearly as to how it is operated. A "discretionary" policy always involves difficulties as the "discretion" must be operated fairly and consistently. Any minor failings or faults in such a policy is likely to give rise to grievances and possibly tribunal proceedings.
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