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BT Consumer: Medical Appointments

1 March 2017

There have been an increasing number of reports of managers in BT Consumer operating outside Group policy on medical appointments. The CWU Consumer National Team has raised this with BT on a number of occasions and we are working to ensure that the Group policy is applied. In the meantime, this circular sets out the national view on this issue.

The agreed process at Group level is as follows.

  1. Medical appointments, including GP and dental appointments should where possible be arranged during leave or scheduled time off, or an attendance swap arranged. In exceptional circumstances where this is not possible, maximum notice should be given of the need to take time off from work, for which casual leave may be requested. Every effort should be made to make arrangements which minimise the impact on the business, for example by seeking an early or late appointment.
  2. Where regular medical appointments are necessary in respect of a disability, this should be managed under the Adjusted Job Search process. The manager, taking advice where necessary from the OHS should consider the need to make reasonable adjustments to the individual's attendance arrangements. This adjustment can be supported by one or more of the following options: paid special leave; casual leave; use of annual leave; temporary reduction in hours, flexible attendance according to the individual circumstances of the application.
  3. Applications for leave relating to hospital appointments required for urgent diagnostic tests, consultations or emergency treatment should be considered under paid special leave terms.
  4. BT recognises that initial hospital appointments whether it be for consultation or medical tests are not always within the control of the individual, and in these instances paid special leave should be granted.
  5. Where possible hospital appointments beyond the initial appointment should be scheduled in a way that minimises disruption to the business. BT recognises that depending on working patterns, this may mean that hospital appointments may be during work time. In these instances, paid special leave should be considered and not be unreasonably refused.

In terms of hospital appointments in practice BT Consumer has accepted that where they cannot be rescheduled then paid special leave will apply. Evidence, such as an email, that the appointment cannot be moved will normally be requested. It has also been reported that some managers believe that paid leave for hospital arrangements only applies for the initial appointment, or a certain number of appointments. This is not the case.

The Consumer National Team is determined to ensure that Consumer follows the same procedures and policies as the rest of BT in respect medical appointments.