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Posted: 17th March 2022
Tagged: Employment Policy
Hi all, hope you’re well! Can I ask your thoughts on requiring employees to fill out self certification forms for sickness absence of less than 7 days? It feels a bit heavy handed to me but realise I may be missing something. Interested to hear your thoughts, thank you Jo
Hi there. I guess, unfortunately, that it depends on the trust there is in your organisation. We have some locations which are high trust, and we don’t worry about self certification under 7 days. Unfortunately, we have a few locations where we fear this would be taken advantage of and the feeling is that having a document which the individual needs to complete helps keep things ‘honest’.
Hi Victoria thanks so much – that’s really helpful to hear. Makes total sense.
Hi there, what Victoria says definitely resonates about different offices/cultures around this. I also think it’s the age old thing of when there is then an absence issue, it can feel like a real gear change to roll out processes when there are concerns if you haven’t done that previously. Equally have the DHR voice in my head of don’t create your process around the minority as this won’t be an issue for the majority! I also think if you have strong management capability, able to address any issues well and a good culture around absence management, the self-certification part is less of a concern.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this Rachel! Really helpful
No problem – I often think about this kind of thing. It feels a bit clinical/process heavy to me, asking for a self-certification form when someone has had some time off sick, but it always feels like that play off between those more common scenarios when there’s no concern vs the absence management situations where you need evidence of process.
I feel exactly the same way about it Rachel. We have such a hard working, committed team, I just don’t believe that anyone is taking time off sick dishonestly. But then we did have that one person…. that said, I’m not sure that having self-cert forms really made that much difference in that particular scenario. We had a record of time off and reason for their absence and that was enough without requesting forms to be filled out.. but maybe I’m missing something!
That’s a very good point Jo – I suppose potentially with a sticky sickness case or where there might have been onus on the employer to spot something else happening (e.g. stress/mental health issues) a self-cert may be a more reliable record (sickness can be logged on our HR system by employee/manager and the reasons are categories). But again – this is for the minority cases isn’t it. Overwhelmingly, I agree with you it feels heavy handed for most scenarios.
Exactly Rachel. And what our team don’t need right now are more forms and processes! Tricky one….
Hi all. We use self-certification forms but more for to understand if there are any adjustments we need to make and/or support them with. I suppose its about how the form is written and how the information is then used.
Hi Rachel, that’s a good idea – does this essentially combine your return to work form with self-certification? I like the idea that it has more of a practical use there and is mutually beneficial.
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