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Help! Medical appointments do they have to be taken as unpaid leave?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by donut gal, Apr 15, 2011.

  1. Hi there. I also posted this on pay and conditions not sure where is the best place :( Hope someone can answer this one quickly as rather worried. I told my Head that I have to attend 2 medical appointments in London ( 150 miles from where I live). I have just received an email from the Head to say that I will have to request these days as unpaid leave. I have had to attend other medical appointments over the last 5 years occasionally and have never been asked to take these as unpaid leave. In the meeting when i told my Head about the appointments I said I was happy to make the time up, something that I can do as I am only part time and only work 3 hrs on those days anyway. Is this really right? Do I have to take a medical appointment as unpaid leave? I tried to get them on my day off but the specialist is only in London on Mondays otherwise they are 400 miles away from me. help very worried.
     
  2. Hi there. I also posted this on pay and conditions not sure where is the best place :( Hope someone can answer this one quickly as rather worried. I told my Head that I have to attend 2 medical appointments in London ( 150 miles from where I live). I have just received an email from the Head to say that I will have to request these days as unpaid leave. I have had to attend other medical appointments over the last 5 years occasionally and have never been asked to take these as unpaid leave. In the meeting when i told my Head about the appointments I said I was happy to make the time up, something that I can do as I am only part time and only work 3 hrs on those days anyway. Is this really right? Do I have to take a medical appointment as unpaid leave? I tried to get them on my day off but the specialist is only in London on Mondays otherwise they are 400 miles away from me. help very worried.
     
  3. I don't know what the official line is but over the last two years I have had bucketloads of time of for medical appointments and have never been asked to take them as unpaid leave. If no-one puts you right on here, ring your union rep or area office and ask them.
     
  4. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    Check your school's policy document.
    It can depend on the reason for the appointment.
     
  5. Yes - I don't think boob jobs count as "medical"!
     
  6. inq

    inq

    I've always had medical appointments without having to take unpaid leave, I was also given a day's compassionate leave when littlest Inq needed to go into hospital for 2 days 250 miles from where I live (the joys of ill university students!).
     
  7. I have had previous appointments and never been asked to take them as unpaid leave. The last one was in January!
    The Head said that HR had said i had to take it as unpaid. May be I should contact union. I know I am covered by DDA but really don't want to make a fuss about things.............MrDG is annoyed about it all.
     
  8. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    As I said, check the policy of your school.
    Your union will only ask to see the policy anyway, so you may as well do the groundwork first!
     
  9. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    HR seem to have recently changed their tack on this. I'm a Headteacher and phoned HR for advice as I had a stream of Lunchtime Supervisosrs requesting paid time off to attend medical appointments. Seeing as they only work for 75 minutes a day I wanted to know how far I could "suggest" that they made the appointments around their non-working hours.

    HR's advice was that all staff should be expected to make medical appointments outside of working hours, and that if that was not possible then it should be unpaid leave. This was news to me but makes sense as in the private sector my sisiter-in-law has to take half day holiday if she's got a medical appointment. Must admit that I don't apply this to fulltime staff though!
     
  10. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    "Outside working hours" - are they seriously suggesting that it's possible to make medical appointments after 7 at night? Another world...
     
  11. Making an appointment outside working hours is actually impossible with my physio. They only open 8-3 monday to friday!
     
  12. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    Not to sound harsh, but my doctors does have evening appointments two nights per week and we have a medical drop in centre thats open 24 hours a day.
    My husband works in a rubbish job with rubbish pay and when he needs an appointment that can't be after hours he has to have it unpaid too. In fact, everyone I know who works in the private sector has to either take unpaid leave or use up holidays, (unless their off sick obviously)

    Mind you, when my husband is off sick he gets nothing for first 4 days then approx. £70 per week Statutory Sick pay. Last year he had 6 weeks off with Tennis Elbow, so took three of his holiday weeks so that he'd get paid for some of the time he was off for.
     
  13. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    sorry, posted before finished.

    I sometimes think its us who are in another world.

    For example when hubby/relatives are off for unpaid leave, its actual hourly rate they loose. When school staff take unpaid leave its 1/365th we loose for a full day, not 1/195th. We sometimes take for granted the good working conditions we do have
     
  14. ROSIEGIRL

    ROSIEGIRL Occasional commenter

    I think it's a bit different to see a specialist though - not many of them work evenings!
    OP - if you are covered by the DDA I woul definitely have a chat with the union, just to make sure of the facts.
    I work part time too and usually manage to swap my days if i need to - I guess that depends on the goodwill of your head and colleagues.

     
  15. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    What we do at my school is, if the absence can be covered in house (including by me or by moving PPA) then the time can be taken with pay. This works fine as there's never been a time when we've not been able to do this. This also includes time to take children/elderly parents to appointments.

    My concern is that if there ever comes a time when we can't cover and unpaid leave is going to have to be taken, will that person complain because others have had paid leave in the past? If that did happen, then I would apply the unpaid leave to every instance of time away form school.
     
  16. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    The schools generally have two choices - allow people to duck out for an hour to see a doctor, or risk people taking whole days sick leave for the same reason.


     
  17. dusty67

    dusty67 New commenter

    But then three short absences will land you in the situation of having a warning and having absences "managed" from now on. Best policy is always to be truthful
     
  18. To be fair, how many teachers do you know that have appointed working hours of early until 7pm on a daily basis? I know those with later evenings, but none otherwise that do not have alternative time off to make up for the longer hours....
     
  19. This is standard.
    Unless covered under DDA there is no obligation to be paid for attending medical appointments if the member of staff is given the time off to attend.
     
  20. Thank you to all who answered and apologies for not answering sooner. I did contact my union and this is what they said '
    ' An employer has descretion to pay for time off for a medical appointment, or to insist in unpaid leave, check the policy. it is very unlikely that time off for medical appointments always attracts time off unpaid.'
    So when school starts I will try and find out what the policy actually is.
    i think what I am a little annoyed about is I did offer to make the time up and that was ok but a week later it's not. As I only work for 3 hrs on the day I need to take the appointments I am assuming i will only be docked that amount of money? Also if I they insist I take it as unpaid I also assume I will not have to make up the time? Am i right with these assumptions? the union talked about putting in a grievance about it all etc but surely that is going to just get horrible and stressful and got enough of that anyway !
     

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