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Long Term Sick Absence

Published: 21/12/2012

Members are advised that there continues to be difficulties with regards to reporting - to DPF - members absent on Long Term Sick (LTS) leave.

Due to legalities surrounding Data protection, the Force is not permitted to identify to the DPF those on LTS for fear of breaching that particular Act. The DPF Area Support Officer (ASO) is not therefore advised when members are absent and although there is a provision included in the absence care pack this is often overlooked resulting in a significant delay before DPF is informed.

Members are advised to ensure that DPF is notified of their absence at the earliest opportunity as there are occasions where delay may have a significant impact upon the individual's best interests - submission of a MOD Form 113 for example.

It is appreciated that many of you may prefer not to receive communication from the federation whilst absent and this is fully respected. Nevertheless, there are many occasions when members require assistance which is not forthcoming through no fault of any of the ASOs. With this in mind, DPF seek to address the matter as follows:

Branch Representatives should regularly note (from promulgated duty rosters) members who are absent for any significant time and notify one of the Area Support Officers - any member may notify the respective Branch Representative when another signs off on LTS - but Branch Reps should not attempt to contact the member directly.

Alternatively, the member signing off on LTS may contact the Support Liaison Officer (07540 148 773) or DPF Head Office (0207 218 9619) and they will ensure the respective ASO is notified of the absence. Members are assured that discretion and confidentiality are paramount and that DPF will support members as much as practically possible throughout their absence. It should be noted, however, that ASOs do not provide a service as an alternative to the Force's duty of care thus there may be occasion when the ASO will refer to the Force for implementation. That said, the ASO cannot compel the individual to do so but will nevertheless advise why it is recommended.

Any matters arising from the above can be raised with the General Secretary (via DPF Head Office) or with the SLO directly.

May DPF take this opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a most prosperous New Year.

John Regan

General Secretary

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