Absence from work
- Uncertificated Sickness: if you are absent due to
illness for up to three days you are not required to provide a certificate of
any kind. You must however inform the school in good time for cover and other
arrangements to be made before the start of each school school day
- Self-Certificated Absence: for absences of four
or more but less than eight days, you are required to complete a
self-certification form covering all the days on which they have been absent.
The form is available from your school.
- Medically statemented sickness: If you are absent
for more than eight consecutive days, you must get a medical note or statement
signed by your doctor and send this in to school as soon as practicable. If you
remain ill when the note expires, you must ask your doctor for another note. If
absence is going to be for a prolonged period (weeks or months) you should
contact the Union for further advice.
Teachers will receive full pay when off sick up to the
following maximum periods:
|Length of Service
||Extent of Sick Pay
|on appointment to first teaching post:
|| full pay for 25 working days
|after 4 calendar months' service
||full pay for 25 working days plus
half pay for 50 working days
|after 12 calendar months' service
||full pay for 50 working days plus
half pay for 50 working days
|after 2 years' service
|| full pay for 75 working days plus
half pay for 75 working days.
|after 3 years service
||full pay for 100 working days plus
half pay for 100 working days.
Important: the count of days of paid sick leave
is made in financial years and so is re-set every April 1st. (i.e. returns to
zero if you are at work on April 1st. However, if you are ill on both March
31st and April 1st then the count of days' leave continues and is not re-set to
SICK PAY should be extended for
absences arising from accidents, injury or assault at work.
Details of the regulations are in the Burgundy
Book. The NUT has negotiated with the LEA a
procedure for determining whether an injury was caused at or by work as
a teacher in cases of stress and emotional injury, etc. Procedure to determine industrial injury in disputed cases.
Sick leave can end during a school holiday,
in which case normal full pay will be reinstated from the date that you are
certified fit to work. The exception to this is if you are declared unfit again
so that you unable to start the next term at work.
Working days include Professional
Development Days. Members who suffer an absence of more than a few weeks
would be well advised to inform the Local NUT Secretaries of the
The sick pay regulations do not recognise "Light
Duties" or other ways of reducing the workload when returning after a long
illness. However, it is often possible to negotiate special arrangements for
short periods to assist with rehabilitation. It is usually
advisable to negotiate a therapeutic return (i.e. visits to the school while
still on sick pay) and/or phased return (easing in to your full normal
timetable commitments, while on full pay). Contact the NUT for information
Special provisions apply for teachers who need to be
absent on occasions because of a disability (e.g.. for regular treatment, rest
times, etc.). This is covered by the Disability Discrimination Act and there
may be Access Funding to assist. Contact the NUT for information and
There are statutory provisions. The NUT publishes
up-to-date information for pregnant teachers, available on the National NUT
website. Individual advice can be obtained from the Regional Office in
Newmarket, (office hours: Tel.: 01638 555300, FAX: 01638 555330).
There are also provisions to allow pregnant teachers to attend ante-natal classes.
Leave of Absence
Sick Leave and Maternity Leave are governed by National
Leave of absence for other reasons may be
granted by the Headteacher acting on behalf of the Governors. This can lead to
differences between schools and sometimes requires Union advice. Should this
happen, contact the Division
Get it in writing!
Members are advised to make sure that all leave of
absence is recorded in writing before leave is taken, giving the extent of
the period granted, with dates. This avoids any misunderstandings which could
lead to difficulties if relying on "word of mouth".
- Union Training and Representation at
Official NUT events: Leave of absence with pay is available for training
courses organised by the NUT Nationally (Stoke Rochford Hall) or by the Suffolk
Division or its Associations and if you are representing the NUT in an official
capacity, such as a delegate to any Conference or briefing. If you are involved
in such an event, contact the
Division Secretary for a "facilities" form: this will enable the
school to be reimbursed for any cover costs incurred (the employment of a
- "Private and Personal"
(P&P):The LEA's policy is to allow a maximum of two days' paid
leave at any one time for the purposes of urgent and unforeseen personal
business which does not come within the scope of compassionate leave or to
fulfil an important and significant personal commitment which cannot be
undertaken at any other time. The original policy, which is now an
"acquired right" for teachers in Suffolk, was a minute of the
Education Committee on 14th January 1975 setting out "Regulations with Regard to Absence of Teachers (Other than
through illness)". In doubtful or disputed cases, this minute can be
consulted, as it has never been repealed or superseded.
- Interviews: all
reasonable time off must be allowed. Suffolk does not have a specific
category of leave for interviews: it comes under the "private and Personal
arrangements (see previous paragraph). Interviews abroad or in places involving
extra days for travel, the Governors can place a limitation on the number of
days to be taken, but this must be decided by a written policy made known to
all staff before any limitation can be legitimately imposed. This applies
whether the new post is in teaching or not. Employees must be
reasonable, however, in the number of days' leave they request under
this heading. If in doubt, contact
- Compassionate Leave: In the
event of such emergencies as bereavement, serious accident or illness of an
immediate family member/dependant, the LEA guidance to headteachers is to allow
up to 3 working days' leave on the death of a father, mother, son, daughter,
brother or sister and up to 6 working days'' leave on the death of a husband or
wife. Requests for compassionate leave beyond 10 working days should be
referred to the Governing Body and you would probably require the advocacy of
- Medical Screening: Where it
is not practicable for appointments to be made during school holidays, the LEA
deems it reasonable for female staff to be be provided reasonable time off for
medical screening for breast cancer or for a cervical smear to be taken.
- Blood Donors: Paid time off
will normally be granted for the donation of blood although teachers are
expected to undertake this during school closure periods or out of school
hours, wherever practicable.
- Adoptive and Other Parental Leave:
The LEA has, from April 2004, agreed to give paid leave for adoption of
children up to 16 as post-natal maternity leave. This leave to be in addition
to the statutory rights of adoption leave. The cost to schools is covered by
the maternity insurance scheme.
- Teachers may take the statutory adoptive and parental
leave which applies to all employees, not just teachers.
Contact the Secretary for
details, because it may be possible to negotiated compassionate or special
leave instead. The Statutory Provisions give all employees a statutory
entitlement to a fixed amount of leave, but this is fairly inflexible and is
not with full pay (a national statutory rate is paid, currently less than
£110 per week).
- Professional Examinations: The LEA's guidance to
headteachers states: "Leave required by teachers to sit professional
examinations which lead to qualifications relevant to their job or which
otherwise have direct relevance to the work should normally be granted with
- Sporting Activities: Leave of absence to
represent a sport at County or National level is normally granted, where
absolutely necessary and the LEA's practice has been to help schools meet some
of the cost of cover.
- Extended Leave: Teachers may request longer term
leave (without pay) to undertake extended study, voluntary or work activities
such as VSO or other similar reasons. Members contemplating such leave should
discuss the ramifications first with the NUT. (e.g.. effect on pension,
continuity of employment, contract, etc.)
Statutory Leave of Absence
In addition to the above LOCAL conditions of service,
there is a scheme which ensures that Suffolk LEA employees receive statutory
time off for specific duties. Further details are available from the
These duties include "Public
Duties" such as:
- a Justice of the Peace
- a member of a District or County Council or the Broads
- a member of a statutory tribunal or a board of prison
- a member of the National Rivers Authority.
- a member of the National Health Service Trust
- A Health Authority
- a Family Practitioner Committee
For such duties a maximum of 15.5 paid days leave and 10
unpaid days leave is allowed for teachers (who do not normally attend work at
school during the school holidays).
Other duties for which time off is a statutory
requirement include attendance at meetings of a Governing Body or
Committees as a school or college governor. In this case, payment is at the
discretion of the governing body of the school at which the teacher is
Time off with pay is also normally granted
- Summer Camp for all employees serving in non-regular
forces of the Crown (only applicable to those who may be normally working
- Teacher Representatives on the Education
- Witnesses or Jury Service (but
teachers must make a claim for loss of earnings, to reimburse the costs to the
- Union business and activities (including Union
training) by accredited representatives. (These provisions are controlled
by the County Secretaries of the recognised teacher unions). For NUT facilities
time, contact the Division
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Published by the Suffolk Division of
the National Union of Teachers
1 Gainsborough Rd
BURY ST EDMUNDS