The IO Foundation

Sickness Absence

Version 1.0 | This Policy was approved on 03 May 2022.
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This document employs terms related to the DCDR Advocacy that can be found in the TIOF terminology.
For a structure of The IO Foundation, please visit

About this document

This document, hereinafter the Policy, sets out the position maintained by TIOF in matters of Sickness Absence that you will need to be aware of while being a TIOF Member. You should familiarize yourself with it and comply with it at all times. Any questions you may have with regard to its contents or what you have to do to comply with it should be referred to your corresponding Team Human Resources Manager.
This Policy sets out TIOF's approach to the necessary arrangements for sick pay and for reporting and managing sickness absence.
Any Member who breaches this Policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct. In particular, abuse of sickness absence, including failing to report absence or falsely claiming sick pay will be treated as misconduct under our Disciplinary Procedures. Any non-employee who breaches this Policy may have their contract (or equivalent official relationship with TIOF) terminated with immediate effect.
This document complements TIOF's Code of Conduct.
This document does not form part of any Engagement Document and we may amend it at any time following the procedures described in TIOF's Statute.


This document directly applies to:
This document indirectly applies to:
The policies set out in this document apply to all TIOF Members unless otherwise indicated. They therefore apply to Members of the Boards (Directors, Advisers, Consultants), Employees, Volunteers and Interns; this is irrespective of their engagement type. They equally apply to all Contributors and will be used as part of the selection criteria when engaging with them.
This Policy applies within all TIOF Spaces, including (although not limited to) management activities, contributions or events; it and also applies when an individual is officially representing the organization in public spaces. Examples of representing the organization include (although not limited to) using an official e-mail address, posting via any official channel or acting as an appointed representative at an event.
Review and Amendments This policy shall be reviewed regularly to ensure its continued relevance and effectiveness. Amendments may be made to adapt to new legal requirements, changing circumstances or to better serve the organization's Mission.

Policy details

Sickness Absence statement

The IO Foundation values, above anything, the wellbeing of its Members (as well as its Contributors).
Health is a critical matter and will always be treated with respect and consideration.
Likewise, the organization expects its Members to make use of their absences in a judicious manner and will not tolerate abuses.

Reporting when you are sick

If you cannot attend work because you are sick or injured you should communicate it as early as possible and no later than 30 minutes after the time when you are normally expected to start work to:
  • your corresponding Team Manager, or
  • your corresponding Team Human Resources Manager, or
  • a fellow TIOF Member who will be able to forward the communication to any of the above.
The Channels to communicate must be:
  • Telephone
  • Email
  • TIOF's Slack workspace

Evidence of incapacity

You must complete a self-certification form for sickness absence of up to seven calendar days.
For any absence of more than a week you must obtain a certificate from your doctor stating that you are not fit for work; said certificate will have to clearly indicate the reason for such decision. You must also complete a self-certification form to cover the first seven days. If absence continues beyond the expiry of a certificate, a further certificate must be provided.
If your doctor provides a certificate stating that you "may be fit for work" you must inform us immediately. We will hold a discussion with you about how to facilitate your return to work, taking into account of your doctor's advice. If appropriate measures cannot be taken, you will remain on sick leave and we will set a date for a review.

Statutory sick pay

UK Members

You may be entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) if you satisfy the relevant statutory requirements. Qualifying days for SSP are Monday to Friday, or as set out in your Engagement Document. The rate of SSP is set by the government in April each year. No SSP is payable for the first three consecutive days of absence, it starts on the fourth day of absence and may be payable for up to 28 weeks.

Other jurisdictions

This section will be updated as we gather the necessary information for missing jurisdictions.

Return-to-work interviews

After a period of sick leave we may hold a return-to-work interview with you. The purposes may include:
  • ensuring you are fit for work and agreeing any actions necessary to facilitate your return;
  • confirming you have submitted the necessary certificates;
  • updating you on anything that may have happened during your absence;
  • raising any other concerns regarding your absence record or your return to work.

Managing long-term or persistent absence

The following paragraphs set out our procedure for dealing with long-term absence or where your level or frequency of short-term absence has given us cause for concern. The purpose of the procedure is to investigate and discuss the reasons for your absence, whether it is likely to continue or recur, and whether there are any measures that could improve your health and/or attendance. We may decide that medical evidence, or further medical evidence, is required before deciding on a course of action.
We will notify you in writing of the time, date and place of any meeting, and why it is being held. We will usually give you a week's notice of the meeting.
You may bring a companion to any meeting or appeal meeting under this procedure. Your companion may be either a trade union representative or a colleague, who will be allowed reasonable paid time off from duties to act as your companion.
If you or your companion cannot attend at the time specified you should let us know as soon as possible and we will try, within reason, to agree an alternative time.
If you have a disability, we will consider whether reasonable adjustments may need to be made to the sickness absence meetings procedure, or to your role or working arrangements.

Medical examinations

We may ask you to consent to a medical examination by a doctor or occupational health professional or other specialist nominated by us (at the organization's expense).
You will be asked to agree that any medical report produced may be disclosed to us and that we may discuss the contents of the report with the specialist and with our advisers. All medical reports will be kept confidential and held in accordance with our Data Protection Policy.

Initial sickness absence meeting

The purposes of a sickness absence meeting (or meetings, should it be deemed necessary) will be to
  • discuss the reasons for your absence,
  • how long it is likely to continue,
  • whether it is likely to recur,
  • whether to obtain a medical report and
  • whether there are any measures that could improve your health and/or attendance.
In cases of long-term absence, we may seek to agree a return-to-work programme, possibly on a phased basis.
In cases of short-term, intermittent absence, we may set a target for improved attendance within a certain timescale.

If matters do not improve

If, after a reasonable time, you have not been able to return to work or if your attendance has not improved within the agreed timescale, we will hold a further meeting (or meetings, should it be deemed necessary). The organization will seek to establish whether the situation is likely to change, and may consider redeployment opportunities at that stage. If it is considered unlikely that you will return to work or that your attendance will improve within a short time, we may give you a written warning that you are at risk of dismissal. We may also set a further date for review.

Final sickness absence meeting

Where you have been warned that you are at risk of dismissal, and the situation has not changed significantly, we will hold a meeting to consider the possible termination of your employment.
Before we make a decision, we will consider any matters you wish to raise and whether there have been any changes since the last meeting.


You may appeal against the outcome of any stage of this procedure. If you wish to appeal you should set out your appeal in writing to your corresponding Team Human Resources Manager, stating your grounds of appeal, within one week of the date on which the decision was sent or given to you.
If you are appealing against a decision to dismiss you, we will hold an appeal meeting, normally within two weeks of receiving the appeal. This will be dealt with impartially and, where possible, by someone who has not previously been involved in the case.
We will confirm our final decision in writing, usually within one week of the appeal hearing.
Once the final decision is communicated there will be no further right of appeal.
The date that any dismissal takes effect will not be delayed pending the outcome of an appeal. However, if the appeal is successful, the decision to dismiss will be revoked with no loss of continuity or pay.
Once a TIOF Member has been notified of a dismissal, an Offboarding procedure will be triggered as described in TIOF's Human Resources Policy.