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BT: Hospital Appointments

27 June 2009

Andrew Park (Employee Relations Manager, BT Group Employee Relations) has recently written to the union to clarify that all hospital appointments attract paid special leave.

In his letter he confimred the oficilal policy and how it should be interpreted by mamangers.

  1. Medical appointments, including GP and dental appointments:
    All employees are expected, wherever possible, to make every effort to arrange appointments outside of work time. Failing this, they can ask for casual leave which may be granted by the line manager. Casual leave can be up to four hours or half a day's paid leave to attend a one off appointment or deal with an emergency that does not fit within the special leave definition. The individual will normally be required to make up the time taken within a reasonable timeframe that should be agreed with their line manager, except in cases of distress.
  2. Regular medical appointments necessary in respect of a disability:
    This should be managed under the principles of Managing Changing Capabilities. The manager, taking advice where necessary from the Occupational Health Service, should consider the need to make reasonable adjustments to the individual's attendance arrangements. This adjustment can be supported by one or more of the following options: paid special leave; casual leave; use of annual leave; temporary reduction in hours, flexible attendance according to the individual circumstances of the application.
  3. Hospital appointments:
    Hospital appointments beyond the initial appointment can be scheduled and this should be done in a way that minimises disruption to the business. BT recognises that depending on working patterns, this may mean that hospital appointments will be during work time. In these instances, paid special leave should be considered and not be unreasonably refused. The company, however, recognises that initial hospital appointments whether it be for consultation or medical tests are not always within the control of the individual and in these instances paid special leave should be granted.

Clearly there is an onus on individuals to schedule appointments where they can to minimise the effect on the business.