Sickness absence meetings: make sure HR is present

UNISON West Sussex has received reports from its reps at West Sussex County Council about our members attending Level 2 sickness absence review meetings with no HR officer present.

On one of these occasions the UNISON rep rightly refused to hold the meeting without HR being there, so the meeting was rescheduled.

Level 2 sickness meetings are serious. Not only do members need union representation, they deserve – as do all staff – to have an experienced HR officer present to advise the manager. Indeed, the council’s own policy requires an HR adviser to be present in Level 2 meetings.

If you find yourself in a Level 2 sickness absence meeting and your manager has no-one from HR on hand to advise them, our advice is to call off the meeting, and insist it is rescheduled and run in accordance with the council’s policy.