Guidance on Case Management Meetings

Purpose

These may be useful when considering complex cases of long term or persistent short term absence.

The purpose of a case management meeting is to assist the individual’s manager to obtain information, advice and guidance on how best to support and manage an individual absence case. This may involve the exploration of one or more of the following (not an exhaustive list):

  • The feasibility of a return to work
  • Workplace Health & Wellbeing/GP/Specialist information/recommendations
  • Feasibility/impact of reasonable adjustments
  • Key actions required to support the employee in attaining sufficient attendance levels or a return to work e.g. the development of a rehabilitation programme, individual management plans
  • Any work related issues/ or disability, which may require collective discussion/actions.

It will usually consider all factors in context, so that the needs of the employee and the University are considered, in line with the University's Sickness Absence Management Policy and Procedure.

When should a Case Management Meeting to initiated?

There is no set time frame as to if and when such a meeting should take place, as it will be dependent upon the circumstances of each case.

Where a case management meeting is identified as relevant, the manager seeking advice as appropriate from Human Resources will be responsible for arranging this. As this is organised it is important to consider such factors as confidentiality, privacy, providing information on a ‘need to know’ basis, whether the individual concerned should be invited, and how any outcomes will be communicated.

The ability to use this type of meeting will not be dependent upon a referral to Workplace Health & Wellbeing having been undertaken, though in the majority of cases it is envisaged that this would inform and support the discussions.

Who is involved?

Participants of a case management meeting can vary depending upon the individual circumstances of the case, and may typically include, the employee’s manager/Head of Department to lead the meeting, a Human Resources Adviser (to provide appropriate advice and guidance to the manager), and a representative from Workplace Health & Wellbeing (but not always). It could also include other relevant individuals, for example: a Safety Officer from Health & Safety; a representative from Access to Work, or the employee and their companion etc.

Where an employee is requested to attend such a meeting they may choose to be accompanied by a companion i.e. a work colleague or trade union representative. The organisation of the meeting will not be unreasonably delayed to accommodate the attendance of the employee’s representative. Where the date arranged by the manager is unsuitable for the employee or their representative, the employee shall offer an alternative date no later than 7 calendar days following the original date.

Where individual management plans (e.g. where the illness or disability is likely to result in recurrent absences), or rehabilitation plans are being considered, the employee this relates to should be involved in developing these.

Meeting Process

The manager will be responsible for co-ordinating attendance and leading the meeting.

The Manager will be required to provide any relevant documentary information/evidence of absence records and actions already taken. Before the meeting they should also consider what questions they want to raise, or what areas they want to highlight for discussion.

An open discussion will be held to identify and clarify the actions required to support/enable the employee’s improved attendance or sustained return to work.

Notes of the meeting must be made and retained securely.

Confidentiality

Medical confidentiality must be maintained and respected at all times and discussions held sensitively, during any case management meeting.