There have been some changes to policies which PCS have engaged on over recent months. For the reference of members these changes are as follows:
Major disruption to travel policy
A new major disruption to travel policy has been published. Major disruption to travel is that which severely affects public transport or roads, to the extent that it prevents or seriously affects a significant number of employees’ efforts to come to and from work.
This includes impact arising from events such as severe weather, other natural disasters, strikes or other major incidents. The following principles underpin the policy:
- Employees have a responsibility to attend work and should make every effort to do so but are not expected to take unnecessary risks
- Employees who are affected by major disruption will be treated fairly and principles will be applied consistently wherever possible
- Managers should consider awarding paid special leave to employees where they are satisfied that it was impossible for the individual to attend work and all options for the employee to carry out alternative useful work have been considered and ruled out.
View further details in the travel guidance on Horizon or contact the shared service centre.
This is obviously in addition to the smarter working guidance which may allow for members to work at home in the event of travel disruption.
Amendments to grades which can take management decisions.
In response to feedback, changes have been made to the attendance management (AMP) and managing poor performance (MPP) policies, regarding decision levels and authority of managers on temporary cover allowance (TCA).
PCS expressed concerns relating to this change and the possibility of members returning from TCA and working with colleagues they may have had to make difficult managementdecisions on.
This concern was not accepted by the Home Office and as such the following amendments have been made to policy:
Decision levels - under the managing poor performace policy, previously a manager had to be at least G7 to consider dismissal, however this has been reduced to SEO minimum.
The appeal manager still needs to be one grade higher than the manager who made the original decision, so this will now normally be G7 or above. However, an SEO can make this decision if it is not possible for operational reasons.
Authority of managers on TCA – TCA policy states that TCA is paid to staff who perform the full duties of a higher grade for a period of at least three months.
This was not previously reflected in AM and MPP policies. To improve alignment across the policies, both AM and MPP policies have been updated to allow managers on TCA to consider warnings, dismissals and appeals.
The Attendance Management and Managing Poor Performance procedures have been updated to reflect these changes.
Phased return to work process following sickness absence
The phased return to work process following sickness absence has been aligned across the Home Office, by applying the current HMPO process across the whole of the department.
Formal phased returns, known as part time medical grounds or PTMG, have a guided limit of six weeks (which may be extended to eight weeks if medical evidence supports this), during which the employee receives full pay.
Exceptional extensions can be agreed beyond this period, but require agreement with the HR case manager/occupational health service advice as required, and adjustment to salary if on reduced sick pay.
Periods of PTMG beyond eight weeks must be recorded on Adelphi but periods of 1-8 weeks are not recorded on Adelphi.
These arrangements came into force on 1 December 2018.