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LSA Sick Leave / Leave for dependents

Discussion in 'Headteachers' started by ejfox2, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. A member of staff contacted me by text message in December to tell me that her adult son (who has had significant medical issues for the last year) was unwell and she would not be attending her job for 2 days. This member of staff has had 6 months off school some of which was compassionate and some of which was sick leave. When the member of staff returned to work after her 2 day absence she was asked to read and sign a return to work form which clearly stated "time off for dependents". She willingly did this and did not query it. Now this member of staff has received her payslip and noticed the pay reduction for her time off she is claiming that she was unwell and therefore she was on sick leave. She claims that she did not read the return to work form and is now demanding that the school pay her. Unfortunately I had deleted the text message which told me the absence was for her son. Any ideas? What should happen now? Do we have to pay even though we believe that the absence was for her son?
  2. I'd refuse to pay her. She can take out a grievance, but I am sure you have enough evidence to prove that the leave was for dependents and I can't see it being upheld. In addition, she has to request leave- she is not entitled to it and text messages are usually unacceptable as a reporting absence procedure.
    Hopefully, you have a clear shared policy on these issues.
    Run it by your HR Officer first though.

  3. Middlemarch

    Middlemarch Star commenter

    As Mrs C states, she is not entitled to leave with or without pay; moreover, there is presumably no record whatsoever of her calling in sick, a she now claims she was. I'd refuse to pay her.
  4. mychuck

    mychuck New commenter

    Just like you cannot necessarily prove that she was not ill, she cannot prove she was i.e. no doctor's sick note or SSC.
    She signed the 'back to work' form so the ball really is in her court. I would stick to your guns as others have suggested.
  5. 1) She signed a note to say she was off due to the illness of a dependent. Her fault if she didn't read it! Your recollection is unlikely to be wrong and her challenge would therefore be weak.
    2) Check with your LA HR people for advice. Some LAs, mine included, allow for a certain amount of paid leave for sick dependents. Ours is 2 days per year.

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