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PGR sick leave policy

With effect from 1 October 2019, updated 15 March 2020

Medical Absence Policy for Funded Research Students

    1. Introduction

      1. This policy relates to the payment of stipends during periods of absence due to illness and applies to full-time and part-time research students who receive a maintenance stipend funded by the University of Warwick or a UK Research Council.
      2. Research students who are also members of staff of the university should follow the appropriate HR policy for staff.
      3. Eligible students can receive stipend payments for periods of medical absence from 29 consecutive days (4 weeks), to a maximum of 91 days (13 weeks) in any rolling 12 month period.
        1. The paid medical absence will accompany a period of Temporary Withdrawal for health reasons (TWD - Health).
        2. Students who take a period paid medical absence will receive a funded extension to their studentship of the same duration.
        3. Periods of paid medical absence will be at the student’s standard stipend value from the first day of certified illness. This applies from the point of initial enrolment on their programme, until the end of the funding period.
      4. Absence due to single short-term, self-limiting illnesses lasting less than 28 days (four weeks), e.g. colds, stomach upsets, minor medical procedures, will result in regular stipend payments continuing to be made and active registration continuing. No funded extension would be granted.
      5. Students who experience multiple short-term absences or have significant concerns regarding a long-term health condition affecting their study should contact the Doctoral College directly at doctoralcollege@warwick.ac.uk. Such circumstances will be dealt with on a case by case basis.
      6. The stipend payments for the period of medical absence and subsequent paid extension is expected to be funded by the student’s current source of funding.

    2. Student Eligibility Criteria

      1. Full-time and part-time research students who receive a monthly maintenance stipend funded by the University of Warwick or a UK Research Council are entitled to receive stipend payments during a medical absence.
      2. Postgraduate Taught Students who are funded by a UK Research Council Training Grant are also entitled to receive stipend payments as per this policy.
      3. Research students who receive a funded stipend from an external organisation or an external award administered through the University of Warwick must follow the regulations of the funder. If the funder does not provide additional money to fund periods of medical absence, the University is not liable to provide any payment.
      4. Students in receipt of awards covering tuition fees only are not eligible to receive any payment during periods of sickness.
      5. Students in unfunded periods of study are not able to receive additional stipend payments due to medical absence.
      6. Part-time or part-funded students should expect to receive any payments to which they are entitled on a pro-rata basis.

    3. Certification of Medical Absence

      1. Eligible students who wish to receive stipend payments during a period of medical absence must complete a Sick Pay Form and provide the University with appropriate medical certification.
      2. The certification should cover the entire duration of the period of medical absence, and should explicitly state both start and end dates.
      3. Self-certification will be accepted for the first seven consecutive days (1 week) of medical absence. Appropriate medical certification must be provided from day eight onwards.
      4. Accepted medical certification includes:
        • NHS Fit Note Med 3 forms
        • Warwick Medical Certificates
        • Signed Doctor’s notes on headed paper
      1. Subsequent extensions to a period of medical absence will be paid on the provision of additional medical certification up to a maximum of 91 days (13 weeks) in a rolling 12 months period. These should be submitted by completing an additional Sick Pay Form ensuring concurrent start and end dates on all medical certificates.
      2. Periods of medical absence beyond 91 days (13 weeks) in a 12 month period will be unfunded.

    4. Temporary Withdrawal or Extension to Study

      1. Information on temporary withdrawals, extensions and changes to mode of attendance is available from Student Records.
      2. When presented with a medical certificate that contains specific medical advice or recommendations the department should discuss this with Wellbeing Support Services.
      3. In cases of illness of a long duration, the department may wish to consider whether the student’s withdrawal from the programme, under Regulation 36.5.b, and possible reapplication at a future date would be a more appropriate measure.
      4. Single medical absences of less than 28 days (four weeks) will not lead to formal temporary withdrawal or a subsequent funded or unfunded extension period.
      5. If the period of medical absence exceeds 28 days (four weeks) students must apply for Temporary Withdrawal Health via Student Records Online, complete with all medical evidence covering the entire absence period (less the first week, where self-certification will be accepted). This is in addition to completing the Sick Pay Form.

    5. Students with UKVI Tier 4 Visas

      1. In the case of students sponsored by the University under UKVI Tier 4 visa, temporary withdrawal may require the University to withdraw sponsorship and for the student to return to their home country for the duration of the withdrawal. In such cases, students will thereafter need to apply to the University for a new CAS number to apply for a new visa to resume their studies.
      2. All requests for temporary withdrawal must be made at the earliest opportunity to permit time for approval of the request and to ensure travel home can be made following the report of the suspension to the UKVI.
      3. In all cases, advice should be sought from the Immigration and Compliance Team as early as possible to ensure compliance with the Tier 4 visa can be maintained.

    6. Student with ATAS Certificates

      1. In the case of students who require ATAS clearance to study specific courses you will need to re-apply for an ATAS certificate following period of temporary withdrawal before you can resume your studies.

    7. Returning to Study

      1. Students must keep their supervisor and department informed of any changes in their circumstances that may result in them returning to their studies earlier or later than originally stated. Students who have taken temporary withdrawal and want to return to their studies later than originally stated must apply for an additional period of temporary withdrawal and provide a new medical certificate.
      2. A student who has been temporarily withdrawn from their studies must notify Student Records and their department of the intention to return using Student Records Requests in Student Records Online.
      3. Students returning to their studies after a period of TWD Health must submit a Resumption from Temporary Withdrawal request in accordance to Regulation 36.

    Paid Sick Leave Process

    If a student is eligible for sick pay under this policy the following process should be followed.

    Duration of sickness absence in calendar days

    Documentation required from Student

    Action

    Up to 7 days (1 week)

    Self-certification

    None – Active registration continues, regular stipend payments continue, no extension granted

    7 to 28 days (1 to 4 weeks)

    Students are advised to obtain medical certification from a doctor for their period of medical absence

    None – Active registration continues, regular stipend payments continue, no extension granted

    29 to 91 days (4 to 13 weeks)

    Medical certification must be obtained from a doctor

    TWD – Health request to be completed by the student

    Sick Pay Form to be completed by the student

    Student will then continue to receive their monthly stipend payments for period covered by the sick pay form and a funded extension period of the same duration will be added to the studentship.

    Completion date to be amended once TWD and Sick Pay requests have been approved.

    Resumption from Temporary Withdrawal request must be submitted by the Student before return to study

    92 days or more (+13 weeks)

    Medical Certification as acceptable under TWD for Health Reasons

    TWD – Health to be completed by the student.

    Completion date of the studentship to be amended once TWD request has been approved.

    Resumption from Temporary Withdrawal request must be submitted before return to study. Stipend payments to restart upon the student resuming active study.