CSC recently introduced an Attendance Management Program (AMP) department-wide in an attempt to rein in spiraling HR costs and possible abuses of sick leave credits.
The theoretical purpose of an AMP is for employers to work with employees who are having difficulties attending work on a regular basis with an emphasis on developing strategies to assist employees in reducing absenteeism.
The theory is nice, but USGE has made it clear to CSC that it will not actively support this program in any way, shape or form. This type of program is meant to treat all employees the same, regardless of their position or the legitimacy of their absence from work. However it is not being universally applied to all employees of CSC. USGE has consistently voiced its opinion that a blanket policy covering all employees is unfair to those employees who continuously follow the rules and that it is management’s responsibility to deal with those employees who do not.
It is USGE’s firm belief that the collective agreements provide sufficient authority to management to grant, deny and monitor sick leave. Management also has the authority to refer employees to Health Canada in certain situations where this may be necessary.
The USGE has also raised concerns that this program could lead to breaches of the Privacy Act in situations where committee members, who may not have management authority, are involved in the review of an individual’s personal circumstances. In such cases, employees should be filing a complaint with the Privacy Commissioner.
As well, this type of program can lead to non-culpable — not deliberately at fault — termination of employment and it can encourage employees to come to work when they are sick. Again, this could also be construed as violating the various provisions of the Canadian Human Rights Act and the relevant article of the collective agreements as they relate to discrimination and harassment.
USGE strongly advises its members that, should they be told to attend one of these AM meetings, they bring a union representative with them. Needless to say, any discipline or threat of discipline should be grieved.