Covid related absences do count towards sickness absence triggers

All sickness absences should be reported using the University's sickness absence reporting process. Where a member of staff has frequent short-term sickness absence*, this triggers the manager to hold an informal discussion and, where appropriate, to start the managing sickness absence procedure.

During the peak of the covid-19 pandemic, covid related absences were not officially counted towards the sickness absence trigger. Now that government restrictions have ended and we are living with Covid-19, covid related absences are counted towards sickness absence triggers in line with any other reasons for sickness absence.

Therefore, all absences related to covid should be reported via the usual sickness absence reporting process. Managers will include these absences when monitoring triggers and will have an informal discussion with staff where they hit an absence trigger. Managers will follow the usual managing absence procedure and take a view on how to manage any onward steps on a case-by-case basis.

* As defined by the University's sickness absence policy: Frequent short-term sickness absence is considered as three or more instances of sickness absence (or a continuous period(s) of absence) amounting to 10 or more days (pro-rata for part time employees) within a 12 month rolling period.