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Ill-health and sickness absence: Notice

17 November 2003

The Council and the General Board, on the recommendation of the Personnel Committee, have reviewed existing arrangements concerning ill health and sickness absence, in accordance with the University's HR Strategy.

In respect of the provision of sick leave and pay, the Council and General Board have approved a standard rate of contractual entitlement to sick pay for University officers taking up employment on or after 1 January 2004. These entitlements, together with existing arrangements that apply to University officers already in employment prior to 1 January 2004, are set out below.

Guidance on implementing policy and procedures concerning sick leave and sick pay has been drawn up by the Personnel Division, taking account of advice from the Occupational Health Service, the Staff Welfare Adviser, the Staff Counselling Service, and the Disability Resource Centre, and following consultation with institutions. The guidance will be circulated to heads of institutions and is generally accessible on the Personnel Division Web pages (www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/personnel/).

Leave of absence under Statute D, II, 6(A): sick leave

1. Under the provisions of Statute D, II, 6(a), University officers may be dispensed from discharging the duties of their offices on account of illness for a period of up to six months without loss of stipend. This dispensation may be extended by the competent authority, who shall fix the amount of stipend (if any) payable.

Notification of incapacity for work on account of illness

2. All periods of incapacity for work on account of illness, including those that fall outside an academic term, shall be regarded as sick leave in accordance with Statute D, II, 6(a). In order to be granted sick leave, officers shall notify the head of their institution of the dates on which they are unable to work. Officers shall also provide either a completed self-certification form (blank copies available from the Personnel Division) for absences of up to seven consecutive days, or a medical certificate (obtained from their GP or hospital, in the case of admission as an in-patient) for absences of seven days or more.

3. The dates on which sick leave is granted shall be recorded by the head of the institution and reported to the competent authority in order to determine the level of stipend (if any) payable.

4. The competent authority may seek informed consent from officers for information from their medical records to be made available in cases where the recurrence or continuation of an absence becomes a cause for concern.

Payment of stipend during sick leave

5. In determining the period for which leave with stipend will be granted, and the amount of stipend (if any) payable, the competent authority shall have regard to the following:

(a) The officer's length of continuous employment by the University.
(i) Officers employed from 1 January 2004 shall, during their first year of employment, normally receive their full stipend for the first eight weeks of any absence, followed by a corresponding period at half-pay, increasing to: twelve weeks after one year in employment; twenty weeks after three years in employment: and a maximum of twenty-six weeks after five years in employment.
(ii)With regard to officers employed prior to 1 January 2004, other than those in the first year of their employment by the University, the Council and the General Board have determined previously that they shall normally receive their full stipend for six months. Thereafter, following a review, a further period of leave at full pay may be granted, with the possibility of a limited period of leave being granted at a reduced rate of pay after twelve months.
(b) The number of days sick leave granted to the officer in the full year immediately prior to the date on which the current period of sick leave commences.
(c) Whether a period of four weeks has elapsed between the end of one period of sick leave and the start of another, in instances where there would otherwise be an increase in the period of leave granted with stipend as provided for in (a) above.
(d) The amount of any State Incapacity Benefit paid direct to the officer as a result of a continuing absence.

6. Where the period of incapacity for work exceeds the periods of sick leave with pay provided for in 5(a) above, the stipend would normally be discontinued. In exceptional circumstances the competent authority may extend the period for which leave is granted and the stipend (if any) payable, in variation of the provisions set out in 5(a) above, on the advice of the Personnel Committee.

Entitlement to leave under Statute D, II, 5

7. The competent authority shall decide in each particular case whether the terms included within a period of sick leave are to be reckonable as terms of service for the purposes of Statute D, II, 5. As a general rule they shall regard sick leave of twenty-eight days or more during an academic term as normally precluding the officer from counting that term as reckonable as a term of service for the purposes of Statute D, II, 5.


8. The Personnel Committee will, from time to time, issue guidance1 on implementing policy and procedures concerning sick leave and sick pay.

1 This guidance has been circulated to Heads of institutions and is accessible on the Personnel Division Web pages (www.admin.cam.ac.uk/offices/personnel/).

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Cambridge University Reporter, 19 November 2003
Copyright © 2011 The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge.