Here's what I feel is most relevant from the latest Napo General Secretary's blog post:-
ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT SHAMBLES ALREADY A SOURCE OF GRIEF
As many of you will be aware, the new Civil Service Attendance Management Policy was implemented by NOMS into the NPS on 5th January 2017. It seems that the implementation of this policy, despite the failure to agree it with Napo and other unions, is set to cause huge rifts between managers and staff if the early feedback we have received this week is anything to go by.
The genesis of this deficient and divisive process is that the government sees public servants as a burden on society and has decided to launch one of the most punitive personnel management regimes for managing sick absence that it has been my misfortune to see in many years in this business.
We wrote out to NPS members in the week to confirm that we had received a number of queries and concerns from branches about this policy. Napo has followed up on the meeting that took place between Michael Spurr and the unions just before the Christmas break and are challenging both the contents and the implementation of the policy.
We have also made it clear to Michael Spurr and his senior management colleagues that we are appalled at the lack of clear communications to staff. Many managers have not received any information about what the policy contains and how it should be used, which has significantly hampered their ability to brief staff and local Napo reps. We also have serious doubts about the quality and quantity of the training that has been offered for managers. Below is the link to the advice Napo issued just before Christmas. We are working urgently on further guidance and advice for members which we will issue shortly.
Essentially, this policy was drawn up and implemented without anything resembling negotiation, and apart from some late and very cursory consultation where we managed to secure some changes, it was very much a case of ' carry on regardless' (for those of you who remember the lamentable series of movies of that genre) but without even the remotest semblance of humour.
While the NOMS supremos cannot escape the accusation that they have palpably failed to bat for their team, this is yet another example of the attitude that this government has for its employees who it sees as wasters and malingerers who jump at the opportunity to take sick leave. Unlike the faceless Mandarins in their Whitehall ivory towers who concocted this nonsense, our members live in the real world and we will do our best to highlight and challenge the numerous problems that this is already causing at all levels. Meanwhile, I fully appreciate the difficulties this implementation places on our reps on top of all the other pressures that you (and we) are facing, and Napo will do all that we can to help you represent any members who fall foul of the new instructions.
I aim to publish the exchanges we have had with Michael Spurr once he has been able to consider our latest letter, but issues such as the lack of an Equality Impact Assessment, retrospective treatment of absences preceding the policy, new rules on sick pay, and the way in which serious underlying medical conditions are apparently supposed to be totally ignored as a factor for not attending at work are right up there. So, as a member asked me yesterday, it's presumably ok for someone with an infectious medical condition to drag themselves into the office and put others at risk to avoid being pulled up under the policy?
More news as soon as we can get it to you.