We have been challenging the business to ensure the Attendance Agreement is applied correctly. There have been particular concerns about misuse of the contact strategy, which has included use of unagreed contact letters.
Following protracted discussions, we have now agreed a tri-partite statement with Royal Mail and Unite/CMA. The joint statement (attached) reaffirms commitment to the Attendance Agreement and deals specifically with the contact strategy which is a vital part.
Branches and members will be aware there have been ‘rogue’ letters sent to members which were not part of the agreed suite of letters associated with the Agreement. These letters have been removed and the only letters to be used are the ‘official’ letters on PSP.
We have also been made aware of the threats of and the actual stoppage of pay. There are only two situations where stoppage of pay may be considered:
- Where a member refuses to engage / carry on engaging in a contact strategy.
- Where a member has not provided a fit note as cover after the first 7 days.
Even in these cases stoppage of pay should only be considered after the employee has been contacted and offered the opportunity to contact the manager about the contact strategy / fit note, in line with the agreement.
All contact should be agreed, including face to face meetings. Within the agreement is states face to face meetings can take place at day 28, week 12 and week 22. There can be face to face meetings outside of these timings, however these should be agreed and not ‘demanded’ by the manager.
We are in dialogue around the wider issues within the attendance agreement. We will be presenting the issues collated in December to Management over the next few weeks and will be looking to come up with an action plan to ensure the agreement is being followed correctly.
Where breaches of the attendance agreement are taking place, representatives should challenge it immediately and escalate the issue via the achieving agreement framework, if it cannot be resolved.