Tuesday, 25 September 2018

Questions (548)

Michael Healy-Rae

Question:

548. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht if she will address a matter regarding sick leave in the case of a person (details supplied); and if she will make a statement on the matter. [38316/18]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Culture)

While I cannot comment on individual cases or circumstances, the following sets out the position in relation to Health Appointments.

Where a sick absence is incurred due to a Health Appointment, evidence of attendance from the relevant hospital, clinic, medical practitioner is required and must be submitted to PeoplePoint for the sick leave to be recorded as Certified. Confirmation of the appointment alone is not sufficient.

Doctor / Dentist / Hospital Appointments

- If a member of staff is absent due to attending a doctor/dental/hospital appointment for either a full day or a half-day (a.m. or p.m.) the absence in question should be recorded as sick absence.

- If however the staff member has attended for work prior to/after the appointment they can claim time for a sick absence on the following basis:

Morning appointments

- If staff attending a health appointment in the morning do not have any clocking during the morning (up to 12.30pm) – this must be claimed as a half day's sick leave.

- However, core time credit up to 12.30pm will be given provided a reasonable (i.e. approx 1 hour) period of morning attendance has been recorded prior to or after the absence in question. An officer must also be clocked in by 1.30pm in order to reclaim the credit.

Afternoon Appointments

- If staff attending a health appointment in the afternoon do not have any clocking during the afternoon (up to 5.00pm) – this also must be claimed as a half day's sick leave.

- However, core time credit until 4.00pm will be given provided a reasonable (i.e. approx 1 hour) period of afternoon attendance has been recorded prior to or after the absence in question. An officer must also be clocked in until at least 1.15pm in order to reclaim the credit.

All Day Appointment

- If staff do not attend work at all during the day of a health appointment then this must be classed as one full day sick leave and the manager must report it to PeoplePoint via this portal.

The 'protective year' was applied so that someone who had returned to work following Critical Illness Pay (CIP) could avail of remaining CIP leave for subsequent non-critical illnesses/injuries.

Within the 12 month period from the date of return to work after a civil servant suffers with a critical illness/injury they can continue to access the extended sick pay limits normally given for critical illness/injury only (i.e. 365 days), even where they are not critically ill, provided that:

- the civil servant has previously been absent because of a critical illness/injury; and

- the civil servant suffers from a non-critical illness/injury during the 12 months following the first day of the return to work following a critical illness/injury absence.

While I have outlined the general provisions for health appointments, it is the individual's circumstances, including their sick leave record and the nature of the illness, that determines their access to sick leave and Temporary Rehabilitation Remuneration (TRR). I am satisfied that the scheme ensures that all staff who have serious illness are protected.