Occupational sick pay (or OSP for short) is the contractual sick pay your employer provides to you should you need time off for illness. Your employer structures your sick pay based on your length of service.
Entitlements are set out below.
Sick pay is calculated on the first day of a period of absence and takes account of any sick pay, including any entitlement used during phased returns, in the preceding 12 months.
Your manager should inform you during wellness conversations if your sick pay is due to be reduced during a period of absence. This is to help keep you informed and allow you to put in place any arrangements you may need. You should also receive communication from your payroll department to advise you of changes to your pay.
Withholding sick pay:
Your employer may choose to withhold your sick pay in some exceptional circumstances such as when you have failed to report your absence, are considered absent without leave (AWOL), where there is reasonable belief, you're being paid to work elsewhere while off sick, and other concerning circumstances. If this is to be applied to you, you should be told in writing. In our experience, this policy provision is used as a last resort and usually after the business has made every reasonable effort to make contact (if AWOL) or warn you that they may apply this in future (failing to report absences). If you are concerned, contact your local Accord officer for further support.
Extending sick pay:
The policy allows some discretion to extend sick pay entitlements for a limited period where it is appropriate to do so. This is usually in exceptional circumstances and in the most serious cases of illness such as cancer or a terminal illness. You should discuss your circumstances with your local Accord officer for further support.
Phased return plans are developed between you and your manager to help you get back to your normal working pattern. A phased return can vary in length, and the number of hours to be worked should be discussed based on your individual circumstances.
You will be paid your normal rate of pay for all hours you work during a phased return plan. You can still receive pay for the hours that you do not work, and this is done by your manager accurately updating the HR system. These hours are taken from your sick pay, if there are sick pay hours available to you, or by using your holiday allowance. If you've exhausted your full pay, and your sickness entitlement is half-pay, then taking holiday hours would usually be the most beneficial to ensure you receive your full pay throughout the period. Unpaid leave could also be considered if neither sick pay or holiday leave is available.
Find out more about phased return plans.