Self Certified Sick Leave 27.11.12
27 November 2012
To: ALL NURSE REPS./DIRECTORS OF NURSING/MIDWIFERY/PUBLIC HEALTH
From: PHIL Ni SHEAGHDHA, DIRECTOR OF INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS
Re: SELF CERTIFIED SICK LEAVE
As you are aware, the Labour Court has issued a recommendation relating to changes to the sick leave provision for public servants. This includes changes to un-certified sick leave. The Labour Court Recommendation, among other issues, deals with the change of allocation of uncertified sick leave from seven days per annum to seven days over two years. In a letter of clarification they deal with the matter of the retrospective application of it for those who have taken some uncertified leave this year already. These issues are not disputed by the trade unions, the Labour Court did not, however, comment on how it should be implemented from a practical workplace point of view.
CERS on behalf of the HSE have issued circular/guidelines to managers on how the provisions of the labour court should be implemented.
At the National Joint Council meeting of 20.11.12 the Staff Panel of health sector trade unions (including the INMO) objected to these guidelines for three main reasons;
1. There was no discussion with the health sector unions prior to their issue. This is despite agreement that all circulars relating to terms and conditions of employment for employees of the health service must be ratified at National Joint Council (NJC). This circular was not ratified at NJC prior to issue.
2. There is no agreement with the health sector unions that ‘the nature of the illness’ has to be identified by the employee on return to work post self-certified sick leave.
3. There is no agreement relating to the “self-certified form” that is being circulated and, while this may not be objected to, certain aspects of it are not agreed. For example, it stipulates that the nature of the illness is made known to a manager, this is contrary to the Managing Attendance Policy, does not afford employees privacy and is not agreed in any other Government Department. The forms are also additional paperwork for line managers to deal with and this additional workload has not been discussed with them.
The Staff Panel of Health Sector Unions raised this as a mater in dispute at last week’s NJC meeting and advised management that our collective membership would be advised that;
This is not an agreed circular and trade unions members should not be compelled to comply with any change, until meetings have taken place between the health service unions and management. In the meantime they should adhere to the Management Attendance Policy, which is agreed, until a final agreement is reached.
Please contact your INMO industrial relations officer for further information or the undersigned if necessary.
PHIL Ni SHEAGHDHA
Director of Industrial Relations
Update on the Agency Directive. 22.02.12
Updates: 2012 and 2011