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Alternative absence policy template

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Our Alternative Absence Policy Template streamlines managing non-holiday/sickness absences, fostering fairness and reducing disruptions.

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What is an Alternative absence policy?

This policy is a set of guidelines and procedures to manage employee absences from work for reasons other than sickness and holiday. The policy may cover different types of absence, such as compassionate leave, and other types of leave.

The policy outlines how employees should request and book time off, how much time off they are entitled to, and any documentation or evidence required to support their request. The policy may also include details on how leave is calculated and how it affects an employee's pay and benefits.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that employees are aware of their entitlements and obligations regarding time off work, and to provide a consistent and fair approach to managing absence across the organisation. By having a clear policy in place, employers can manage staffing levels, plan for any necessary cover or arrangements during an employee's absence, and ensure compliance with legal requirements.

Alternative absence policy template
alternative absence policy template

What legal and best practice aspects should employers be aware of?

  1. Equality Act 2010: Employers must ensure that their absence policy does not discriminate against any protected characteristic, such as age, gender, disability, race, religion, etc.

  2. Employment Rights Act 1996: This act outlines the rights and obligations of both employers and employees, including the right to request time off for certain purposes, such as family emergencies or public duties.

  3. Working Time Regulations 1998: Employers must ensure compliance with maximum working hours, rest breaks, and rest periods to prevent excessive absences due to overworking.

  4. Parental Leave Regulations 2013: This legislation provides eligible employees with the right to take unpaid parental leave to care for their child.

  5. Time off for Dependants: Employees have the right to take a reasonable amount of time off to deal with unexpected or emergency situations involving dependents (e.g., family members).

  6. Flexible Working Regulations 2014: Employers must consider requests for flexible working arrangements from eligible employees, which may help manage attendance issues.

  7. Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992: Employers must be aware of employees' rights to time off for trade union activities or duties as representatives.

  8. Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974: Employers are responsible for ensuring a safe working environment, reducing the likelihood of workplace accidents leading to absences.

  9. Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (now part of Equality Act 2010): Employers must make reasonable adjustments to support disabled employees, potentially reducing disability-related absences.

  10. Statutory Maternity/Paternity/Adoption Pay and Leave: Employers must provide statutory pay and leave entitlements for expectant or adoptive parents, promoting a healthy work-life balance.

Alternative absence Policy


Overview

The purpose of this policy is to cover rules for any employee needing to take time off work for reasons other than holiday or sickness.

Scope

This policy is applicable to all employees of [company name].

General principles

Religious holidays

Subject to complying with the relevant provisions as to notice and to the requirements of the Company's business, you will normally be allowed to use your annual leave entitlement to observe special religious holidays.

Jury service and other public duties

Should you be called up for jury service or required to attend court to give evidence as a witness, you must notify your line manager as soon as reasonably practicable. Time off work will normally be granted in these circumstances. You will be required to provide a copy of the court summons to support your request for time off work.

You have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for time not worked due to jury service or other related public duties. Any payment of salary made by the Company during this period is done so in its absolute discretion and will be subject to the deduction of any monies received from the court in respect of loss of earnings. You must therefore submit a claim to the court for loss of earnings and claim the full allowance available to you.

If on any day on which you attend court you are told that your services are not required, you must then return to work and report to your line manager before starting work.

Membership of the reserved arned forces

If you are a member of the reserved armed forces, you may use your paid annual leave entitlement to carry out your duties, provided you comply with the provisions relating to paid annual leave set out in the section on Holidays. The Company expects you to use your paid annual leave first before applying for further time off.

Otherwise, any further time off relating to membership of the reserved armed forces will only be granted at the absolute discretion of the Company and you have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for this leave. Any payment of salary made by the Company in such circumstances is done so in its absolute discretion. If you wish to apply for this type of leave, you should apply in writing to [insert name of contact] stating the period of leave requested and the reasons for it.

Medical appointments

Appointments with doctors, dentists and other medical practitioners should, as far as reasonably practicable, be made outside of your normal hours of work or with the minimum disruption to the working day, i.e. made at the beginning or end of the working day.

Time off work to attend medical appointments must be authorised by your line manager in advance. In any event, unless there are exceptional circumstances, no more than two hours should be taken off work for any one appointment. You have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for absences relating to attendance at medical appointments. Any payment of salary during attendance at such appointments is made at the absolute discretion of the Company.

Compassionate leave

Subject to your statutory right to time off to deal with a family emergency, if you suffer a bereavement or serious illness in your family or in a close relationship, compassionate leave must be approved by your line manager. All requests for compassionate leave will be considered on an individual basis.

There is no contractual or statutory entitlement to be paid for absences relating to compassionate leave. Any payment of salary during compassionate leave is made at the absolute discretion of the Company.

Subject to your statutory right to time off to deal with a family emergency, the Company expects you to use your paid annual leave entitlement for time off needed to care for sick relatives or friends.

Special unpaid leave

The Company may, in certain circumstances, consider requests for special unpaid leave, for example, for the purposes of education, family responsibilities or for important personal reasons. However, the Company expects you to use your paid annual leave first. Otherwise, any further time off for special reasons will only be granted at the absolute discretion of the Company and you have no contractual or statutory right to be paid for this leave. If you wish to apply for special leave, you should apply in writing to [insert name of contact] stating the period of leave requested and the reasons for it. Requests for special leave will be assessed on their individual merits and circumstances. Special leave is operated entirely at the discretion of the Company and it may be withdrawn at any time.

General

Failure to return from leave and report for work on the due date of return without reasonable excuse is a disciplinary offence and will be dealt with in accordance with the Company's disciplinary procedure.

This policy [does not] form[s] part of your terms and conditions of employment.

Version: [1.0]

Issue date: [date]

Author: [name, job title]

Direction

The Alternative absence policy template is issued by an employer
Employer
Issue path
The Alternative absence policy template is issued to an employee
Employee
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