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Sickness Benefit(Public Sector Employees)

Volume 960: debated on Friday 15 December 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what steps he is taking to bring to the attention of public sector employers who themselves compute entitlement to sickness benefit the undesirability of demanding that their employees should produce a form Med 3 doctor's statement covering trivial absences of a single day or less; and if he will make a statement.

Arrangements for sickness absences in the public sector, as elsewhere, are matters for agreement between employers and their staffs. However, some years ago the attention of employers and bodies concerned with negotiation of terms and conditions of service in the public sector was drawn to the desirability of bringing their arrangements into line with those for payment of social security sickness benefit and not requiring medical evidence of sickness for absences of three days or less. The response to these approaches was generally co-operative and as far as I am aware this principle is followed in much of the public sector.In the National Health Service, where Whitley Councils are largely responsible for negotiating sick pay schemes, sick notes are not required, with some minor exceptions, for absences of less than three days.