Long Term Absence from The Workplace
I have been giving much thought to the members of staff who have been off work for a considerable time, eg Maternity, surgery, serious injury or shielding due to Covid-19. Somemay be concerned that they might have experienced a decline in their ability or proficiency to carry out tasks which they were previously relaxed and confident to perform; in particular, ambulance crews may have concerns about their Blue Light driving skills which may have deteriorated through lack of practice and may be in need of structured support.
There does not appear to be any reference to members of staff returning to work after long term absences, within our Driving Policies although South Central Ambulance Service (SCAS) have included it in theirs:
“Staff returning from long term absence will be supported as follows:
0 – 6 months absence: nil required unless the employee requests it
6 – 12 months absence: 1 day refresher training with Driver Training Unit (DTU)
12 – 24 months absence: 2 days refresher training with DTU
longer than 24 months: 3 days refresher training with DTU.”
In light of this I have requested that the Trust acknowledges the forethought of SCAS and incorporate their supportive measure into our Driving Policies Trust in order to address the issue.
Unison Health and Safety Officer
13 May 2021