3rd December 2010 at 00:00

Advised to take a sickie by my rector

Posted by paladinStand

My girlfriend is going into hospital for two days and I asked my rector for the procedures for time off to look after her. I think it's called compassionate leave. He told me I should just phone in sick and say I had a headache. But I'm not happy about pulling a sickie because it would be lying to my colleagues. What are the other options available, or is it just unpaid leave?

Posted by pattertwig

I would caution against phoning in sick - if you were caught out, you could be disciplined for "fraudulent claiming of sick pay". I have seen it done, and the fact that you were acting on your HT's advice wouldn't be a defence. Also, if your LA is anything like mine, all sicknesses are monitored, and once you hit a magic number of days, you are taken through attendance procedures - even if your absence was covered by medical certificates. If you have dependants to look after, you might be able to get a day of paid leave, but other than that I suspect your only option is unpaid leave.

Posted by Flyonthewall75

I suspect the term "compassionate leave" is not part of a teacher's conditions of service. When a teacher suffers a close bereavement or a similar traumatic event, it is not unusual for them to be advised to see their GP and get signed off work on medical grounds, such as stress. This is normally considered quite reasonable by employers, given that they would not be in a proper frame of mind to attend to their teaching duties. You seem to have a pretty decent HT and, as long as you don't abuse the situation, you should be all right. Who knows, with worry about the hospital visit and the need for emergency care arrangements, you could well have a genuine headache.

Posted by Dominie

Family care leave is perfectly normal in local authorities. Up to five days per annum is usual. Check with your union local district secretary or contact a national office.

Posted by Flyonthewall75

I don't think family care covers "girlfriend". I believe in relation to child dependants, a teacher is allowed a day's family care leave, if their child is taken ill and they are unable to arrange immediate childcare.

Posted by scotSEN

I suppose it depends on the status of the girlfriend. Are you living like a couple?, then go to Forums and click on pay and conditions.

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