News and Support from The NASUWT
Punishing teachers for taking sick leave is not the answer to dealing with absence caused by work-related stress.
Instead, employers should look urgently at tackling the stress and anxiety which are among the main causes of teacher sickness absence, and not create a “culture of fear around the issue”.
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, said:
“The constant change and excessive workload heaped on teachers has taken its toll on many teachers, who report high levels of stress and anxiety.
“We know of many who have had to take long periods of absence to deal with the issue.
“There is also a growing problem with ‘presenteeism’, where teachers who are genuinely experiencing work-related stress are too afraid to take leave.
“Instead of examining and treating the causes of this serious issue, employers have focused on reviewing procedures which are aimed at tackling absence with an increasingly punitive approach.
“This fails to address the real issue and is leaving teachers who are in need of support and help, dangerously vulnerable.”
“We need to find solutions to deal with the issues that lead to work-related stress, and remove the fear of capability proceedings from sickness absence procedures.”