Here at the Co-op we know that sometimes you may need time off work to go to a dental or medical appointment. Ideally these will be arranged outside of your working hours, but if that’s not possible speak to your manager to agree the time you need.

Crucial bits

If you need time off for a medical appointment - like a dentist, optician, GP or hospital – we’ll give you a reasonable amount of time. Try your best to get an appointment at the start or end of the working day though.

We know that you’ll usually have little control over the times of hospital appointments, so these will always be paid. For other appointments, your manager will decide whether or not you’ll get paid for the time off, unless you work in Logistics and are covered by a collective agreement which says something different, so talk to them about your circumstances.

Remember, if you’re pregnant you can take paid time off work to attend antenatal appointments – see the Co-op Maternity Policy for more information. The Co-op Paternity Policy has details about time off for partners to attend these appointments.

Things to think about

Please try to give your manager as much notice as possible of your appointment. They may ask to see confirmation of your appointment, such as an appointment card or email/text confirmation. If it’s for a routine check-up they might ask you to rearrange it if it’s going to cause problems for the business.

If your manager feels that you’re taking an excessive amount of time off for medical appointments, they may ask to refer you for an Occupational Health assessment to help understand what’s going on and what support you need. If the appointments relate to a disability you have, please talk to your manager about possible reasonable adjustments.

If you’re thinking about having any form of elective cosmetic surgery, which isn’t medically necessary, talk to your manager about whether the time off will be paid or unpaid.

We understand that you’ll be concerned about your pay. So if the time off is unpaid we’ll do our best to limit the effect wherever we can, like agreeing for you to make up the time where it’s possible, or agreeing for you to take holiday. We want your pay to be right, so this should be recorded as either Paid or Unpaid Hospital or Dental/Medical Visit, as agreed with your manager.

If you need further support

If you have any questions about time off for dental and medical appointments, please speak to your manager. If managers need advice they can contact ER Services.

We also have an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) who can provide support if you’ve got a medical condition. You can contact the EAP in confidence on 0800 069 8854.