Information On Sick Leave Procedures

  1. Staff member is to alert supervisor of absence same day. This can be verbal. If staff member is too sick to call, a family member/household member should do so.
  2. Absence beyond 3 (three) consecutive days needs a written sick leave certificate from the treating doctor. It should clearly state dates of absence e.g. “from 21-23 March inclusive” NOT “3 days”.
  3. Only 7 (seven) days of uncertified leave is allowed per year (and only 3 days consecutively. Anything beyond that is seen as absence without authorization and is liable for disciplinary action.  The S/M can not unilaterally decide to charge it to annual leave. Annual leave is approved in advance in consultation with supervisor. If the supervisor does not believe absence is due to illness, the supervisor can demand the S/M to go to the UN doctor for verification. This should be done the same day the S/M calls and informs the supervisor “I am sick today.” The supervisor can not come three weeks later and expect independent verification.
  4. Absence beyond 20 (twenty) days needs a full medical report. This should be sent to JMS at UNON-JMS-sickleave@un.org as soon as possible and definitely within the two weeks of the first day of absence. A sample format is available here (accessible within the intranet only). JMS will not automatically certify sick leave even if a doctor’s certificate is provided. In order to prevent a dispute, it is wise to keep in contact with the UN Medical Service during prolonged sick leave.
  5. All Sick leave requests must be made in Umoja. JMS will not certify any sick leave more that 2 (two) weeks retrospectively. Even those two weeks are dependent on the medical report satisfactorily explaining why it was not possible to work.
  6. A sick leave report from a treating doctor does not automatically guarantee that JMS will certify it. The report will have to demonstrate why the S/M cannot attend duty. E.g. a person with a broken leg does not need to be off duty until the cast is off. Sick off will be evaluated with respect to the actual task of the job and JMS will engage supervisors on how to modify the work place and tasks to enable the S/M to return to work.
  7. JMS will not certify sick leave for more than 1(one) month at a time prospectively. After one month a new medical report must be submitted indicating progress since last time, what therapy is being administered, how often, why the last treatment is not compatible with continued work. Only upon satisfactory answers to the questions may sick leave be certified.
  8. Sick leave is to be taken at duty station. Travel during sick leave has to be authorized by JMS separately and in advance. Sick leave during home leave or duty travel has to be immediately reported to JMS and medical documentation shown why it is not possible to return to duty station.
  9. On return to work the S/M immediately fills in the sick leave request in Umoja Employee Self Service (ESS). The Time Administrator can assist enter the correct data in Umoja if staff member is incapacitated. Under no circumstance should the supervisor or the time administrator request for the doctor’s report. It is confidential and only the S/M can read it. If a non-medical person insists on seeing the report, it should be reported to JMS and HRMS and will be treated as a serious breach of confidentiality. The S/M should drop the medical report separately at JMS in a sealed envelope.

Disputes between JMS and the S/M about the interpretation of the rules can be forwarded to HRMS.