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HR advice needed re TA's sick pay conditions

Discussion in 'Pay and conditions' started by meetsander, Feb 1, 2018.

  1. meetsander

    meetsander New commenter

    Hello everyone!

    I am new to this forum and please forgive me if it’s not the best thread to post this question so re-direct me if needed.

    Also, please bear with me as this may appear long but I need to give you a little overview of my situation.

    I am TA who works in LA primary school since 2010 (just get academized). I suffer from ill health since last year. After 5 months after my first sickness (37 calendar days) I was summoned to attend sickness stage one meeting, just before summer holidays (July 2017).

    Unfortunately, I have been on continuous sick leave from beginning of September 2017. I am ill and can't dig out of it. First hospital, then IBS diagnosis with the referral to contact PWS. Then gynecological operation. Then another diagnosis: severe depression and anxiety disorder caused by work and my deteriorating physical health (no immunity 15 sets of antibiotics taken within a year and IBS, which is caused by stress-just vicious circle. Not to mention my sleeplessness, racing thoughts, anxiety...Only last week I have started my 15 weeks therapy with psychologist. Of course, all my sickness is covered by medical notes.

    But to the point. Just last week, I found out, 3 days before my January pay, that my employer cuts off my contractual sick pay entitlement, to a half. I am 4 months off and entitled by my contract to have 6 months full pay and then another 6 months half pay. By my counts, full pay should continue till February 2018.

    I was also told by my headteacher PA, that EPM (HR agency) said I am only entitled to 156 days of sick leave?!Without explanation. PA couldn't say if they meant calendar days, school days. They also refereed to accumulated period of sickness in a sick year. Which of course says nothing to me. I haven't been explained of how and from when 12-month period of sick year starts/ends (the dates) in my case. I read through school's policy and it says nothing about it. On government pages I found some information about the sicknesses linking period and it seems that they add up my first sickness from last year to the current one. But they are 7 months apart? Can they still do that? Does the SSP rules apply to CSP in schools too? I asked all those questions to my school and they were unable to answer it, so I called the EPM personally, but they have refused to talk to me.

    So again, I rang school, spoke to the -headteacher's Personal Assistant. I asked if the sickness policy have been updated/changed-it was not. As I feared that it may have changed to my disadvantage while I was off. I explained to her that I don’t understand the basis upon they calculated this and that I read original current policy document that doesn't say anything about the sick year rolling period dates and how they are calculated (my contract says 12 months but doesn't say how to count them). School didn't have the answers. So, I requested EPM’s calculation to be sent to me with all my sick pay details with the exact dates, with their current policy they are using to calculate this (as in school's there's nothing about it)- I was refused again. Then I literary spend half an hour presenting factual sickness dates and my contract details to HT's PA and I miraculously managed to convince her and prove, that not only they have messed up my sickness dates but there's also a problem with how they are counting the sick year, and the dates. What's more, I don't understand what they mean by “you are entitled like "others" only to 156 days of full pay”? Which is absurd, as my contract that clearly states: half year full pay, period. PA partially agreed with me. She confirmed she will query all the ambiguities tomorrow with them and come back to me. But I cannot believe I have no access to my own files of sickness to eventually check if they are correct. Do they have a right to refuse to share it with me? Need to mention nobody called me back since. I’m a ball of nerves☹.

    I would greatly appreciate any help of HR or any person who has a knowledge in this field, or maybe some of you had a similar situation, in explain this? I am lost, and my unions are useless (that's a topic for a whole new story).

    Current sickness off since: 6th September 2017 till now, my sick note runs out on 8th of February and I am sure will be prolonged (till last Friday it was142 days).

    Previous long sickness: 4th January to 9th of February 2017(27 school days, 37 calendar days)

    Other sickness: Admission to A&E due to abdomen pain 2nd March 2017 (1 day)
    Viral infection 24th of May 2017 (1 day)

    Thank you all in advance your help will be very much appreciated!!!

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