As you may have seen in the Company Announcement (GEUK2007-038), the company has updated its Annual Leave policy and guidelines after consulting unions and the UKCF. The main changes are to give employees more flexibility in carrying over leave from one year to another.
On 3rd July we asked for your comments on the company’s proposed new policies on sickness absence – thanks to everyone who took the time to reply. The tone and content of the proposals seems to have upset pretty much everyone who read them. Instead of trying to support sick employees returning to work, the focus seemed to be on how to discipline and dismiss us. Following strong feedback from UNITE (as well as from PCS and UKCF reps), the company has decided not to introduce them at the moment, but to do another draft for further discussion.
Unfortunately good news on the policy front doesn’t mean all is well, however. Health-related problems (even including employees being sacked for being ill) form a major part of the caseload of our reps. Here’s some good advice if your health affects your work:
- Get advice from your Rep or Officer at an early stage and keep them informed.
- If you’re off work and not on full pay, make sure you claim the state benefits to which you are entitled (you’ve paid for them!). UNITE can provide advice on this.
- Keep copies of all correspondence, particularly forms applying for state benefits. Many problems with benefit applications are caused by inadvertently giving inconsistent answers to similar questions.
- If you are asked to consent to disclose medical information, make sure you fully understand what you are consenting to. The Fujitsu form includes many options, most of which probably aren’t relevant. It’s often useful to insist on seeing (checking and if necessary commenting on) all documents before they are released to Fujitsu. Mistakes do happen and the consequences can be severe.