Human Resources

ESS FAQs– Sickness Absence 

What do I do if I am ill?

You are required to notify your line manager by phone of your sickness as soon as possible on the first day of your absence, and at the latest, within the hour of the time you would usually start work. You should try to give your line manager an estimation of the length of sickness absence if you think it may last longer than a day.

How do I record my period of sickness absence?

Once you return to work, you need to enter your sickness via Employee Self Service.

How long can I be off for, before I need a fit note?

You can self-certify for up to and including 7 calendar days. If you are ill for longer than this, you will need a fit note from your Doctor.

What do I do once I receive a fit note?

You need to provide your fit note to your line manager who will then liaise with Occupational Health.

Who records my sickness absence if I have a fit note?

Once you have passed 7 calendar days, Occupational Health will record your sickness absence on the system, on receipt of your fit note.

How do I record my self-certified sickness absence if I am off for more than 7 calendar days and I have been provided with a fit note?

Your line manager should inform HR of the absence so that it can be recorded on the system.

Do I include weekends when entering sickness?

Yes. If you were ill from Thursday through to Tuesday, this needs to be recorded as one period of absence to include the weekend.

Should I record a sickness absence of less than 1 day (I left work due to sickness)?

There is no need to record a sickness absence of less than 1 day on the HR System.  You must ensure that your reporting manager is aware that you are leaving due to illness

What dates do I enter if I don’t work every day?

Regardless of your working days, you need to input every day that you were off sick. For example, if you only work Monday and Wednesday but you were sick from Monday until Thursday, then you need to enter the period of Monday to Thursday.

Do I include disability leave?

No – this is not currently recorded on the system. This should be agreed and recorded with your department locally.

My period of sickness absence is due to a long term condition, do I still need to record this?

Yes. Every period of sick leave you take needs to be recorded on the system.

For further guidance, please refer to the University of Portsmouth’s Managing Sickness Absence Procedure