Case Study

Effective Handling of Senior Member of Staff wiht Troubling Sickness Problem


Payroll and Pension Implementation

After 12 years with the same payroll provider, the school felt that they weren’t receiving an accurate or supportive service anymore

The challenge

BIRCH-HR became involved with a school in respect of the sickness absence of a teacher who had been employed for 34 years. While much of her career had been without incident, there been a noticeable problem for the last 8 years.

Indeed, when BIRCH-HR were called in, the teacher had been off sick for a considerable period of time. It became apparent that this was not unusual, as the member of staff regularly completely lost her voice, so much so that she couldn’t speak. This appeared to happen when she became particularly stressed, for example by Ofsted inspections.

As a new Head Teacher had been brought in, he asked BIRCH-HR for their advice. He explained that the above teacher had a dreadful attendance record and BIRCH-HR were able to confirm that the teacher had hit the school’s triggers for a formal attendance meeting.

What we did

BIRCH-HR and the Head Teacher arranged to meet with the teacher. They had a formal discussion setting out the current unacceptable state of affairs. They explained that, for example, the parents of the children in her year were now making complaints.

Furthermore, BIRCH-HR spoke with the Union Representative and explained that it might be preferable if the teacher ascertained whether she was eligible for ill health retirement.

After a medical examination, Occupational Health were able to respond that, in fact, they were unable to determine that the teacher was permanently incapable.

Moreover, according to employment legislation, if the school were to dismiss the teacher for ill-health capability, they would have to pay her in lieu of notice (a considerable amount, under teacher Terms and Conditions).

Fortunately, BIRCH-HR were able to work with the Union and also manage the teacher’s expectations, in order to enable the employee to leave with no dismissal on her file – but no extra money paid.

The result

The successful result was that the teacher left the school swiftly, meaning that they can move on and recruit a new member of staff to fulfil the education requirements of the children. The Head Teacher is pleased as, in addition, there is no risk of an expensive tribunal, as the member of staff was not dismissed.

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