An Employee Bulletin circulated to all LU staff today announces that the company intends to redraft the Attendance At Work (AAW) policy. It says the policy needs a "refresh" in order to "fully support our people and ensure we can offer the best service to London."
There's plenty about the AAW we'd like to change. For example, the basic fact that it treats sickness punitively - making two periods of absence within six months a potential disciplinary matter, even if you were signed off by a doctor both times - is an outrage. People who are not well should not be dragging themselves into work for fear of a disciplinary warning. We'd also like to see an end to the AAW being used to manage people out of a job via case conferences and the delightfully named process of "medical termination."
But something tells us these aren't the changes the company has in mind. Our guess is that the company wants to make the policy even more punitive and restrictive, in the mistaken belief that this will deter people from taking time off sick, thus saving them money on the overtime bill. The bulletin says LU "can't afford not to" overhaul the policy, and that "a better policy on supporting people back to work will help us meet our financial challenges and run a better service." We should also be on the lookout for an attack on the sick pay policy, which currently entitles us to 39 or 24 weeks' full sick pay, depending on length of service.