Council changes to Sickness policy and to Contract of Employment for Zero Hours (Casual) staff in Schools

sick picLBWF have consulted the unions on changes to a number of Policy and Procedure documents over recent weeks.  We would just like to highlight a couple of these documents where we have expressed our views and concerns and have or hope to have changes made as a result.

First up is a number of changes to the Sickness Policy and Procedure (Sickness issues are one of the most common and frequent issues that we deal with).  Most of the changes were minor and the result of external factors – such as the introduction of the “Fit Note”.  However UNISON took the opportunity of raising concerns about the use, and misuse, of “Triggers”. These are the number of days that somebody can have off sick in a given period before they trigger management action. The annual trigger is currently 8 working days. However reps have encountered a number of occasions, particularly in school, where members with health Problems have been set zero days as a trigger for further action and even potential dismissal. This seems to us to be unfair as even healthy staff don’t face such rigorous and near impossible targets. We have asked advice on this for this to be incorporated into the document.

We have succeeded in persuading the Council to make a number of changes to their Zero Hours/Casual employment contract.  Our concern here lay in some schools attempting to convert or create posts on zero hours contracts that are in reality permanent positions.  The changes deal with this and make it clear that the contracts are only to be used for Clerks to the Governors, to cover for Ad-hoc absence and for bank staff.

Please do let the branch office know if you experience or know of any problems in these areas.

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