Sickness absence

Information for staff on sickness absence.

Reporting Sickness Absence

Employees must email absent@inf.ed.ac.uk to report their absence from work as soon as possible. This would normally be before 10.00am on the first day of absence. The email should state the reason for absence, a telephone number at which the staff member may be contacted, if necessary, and, if possible, the expected date of return to work.

The absent@inf.ed.ac.uk email account is monitored by InfHR, who will advise the line manager of staff absences notified to the email account.

A line manager receiving notification of sickness absence from a staff member (eg by telephone) must notify absent@inf.ed.ac.uk. InfHR will contact the staff member for more information, if necessary.

Any changes to the expected duration of the sickness absence must be notified to absent@inf.ed.ac.uk. If no duration has been notified, absent@inf.ed.ac.uk must be notified daily, until the staff member returns to work.  

Self-Certification/Return to work Form

A return to work form including self-certification of the reason for absence must be submitted to InfHR for all sickness absences of seven calendar days or fewer. For absences of seven calendar days or fewer, a return to work meeting is at the discretion of the line manager.

Return to work form

Medical Certification

A return to work form accompanied by either a ‘Fit-Note’ provided by a GP, or hospital documentation, must be submitted to InfHR for any absences lasting for eight calendar days or more. A return to work interview with the employee’s line manager is required for all absences of eight calendar days or more. This must be documented on the return to work form.

Return to work form

Keeping In Touch

Employees and their managers are responsible for making arrangements to keep in touch during an absence. 

Returning to Work

On returning to work, staff should arrange to meet with their line manager for a return to work meeting.  The return to work form should be completed at this meeting and the line manager (or the appropriate portfolio manager, in the case of research staff) should then record the absence on to the University HR Oracle system. Return to work forms should be retained on the employee’s HR file.

Absence Management Policy

The University has a comprehensive absence management policy, details of which can be found via the link below.

Absence management policy

Time off for Emergency Care of Dependants

 Employees have a statutory right to a reasonable amount of unpaid time off work to deal with emergencies involving ‘dependants’. This could be an employee’s spouse or partner, child, parent, or anyone living in the employee’s household as a member of the family. Whilst there is no statutory provision for paid time off to deal with emergencies, the University provides for time off with full pay to the equivalent of up to 10 days' paid leave per calendar year (i.e. 1 January to 31 December) (pro-rata for part-time employees) to deal with emergency situations involving dependants.

Link to full policy

There is a useful briefing note providing more detail on the implementation of this policy available here:

Briefing note

Staff should follow the same procedure as for Annual Leave when requesting time off for emergency care for dependants.

Annual leave and public holidays

Unplanned absences as a consequence of emergency care for a dependant (eg in the case of sudden illness of a child) must be notified to absent@inf.ed.ac.uk.

Other Unplanned Absences

In the case of any other unplanned absence (eg bad weather, domestic emergency) staff must notify absent@inf.ed.ac.uk.

Note that there is no statutory entitlement to leave in such cases, however the School will consider each case individually.

Other Absences

Further information on policies relating to other absences is available via the link below.

Leave and absence options