University of Calgary
UofC Navigation

Attendance Support Program

Submitted by cschasny on Tue, 04/08/2014 - 9:53am

The University of Calgary depends on the contributions of its staff to create a high-quality learning environment and support the goal of becoming one of the top research universities in Canada. To achieve this, regular attendance at work is vital.

The Attendance Support Program supports the university's commitment to assist staff in achieving and maintaining regular attendance and to provide managers with tools to address attendance concerns in a constructive manner. The primary goal of the Program is to support and encourage regular attendance and facilitate reasonable inquiry into potential accommodation needs under Human Rights law. It is not the intention of this program to mandate or encourage staff to disclose confidential medical information to their managers.

The Program applies to Management & Professional Staff (MaPS), Alberta Union of Provincial Employees Local 52 (AUPE) and exempt-by-position staff members.


Manager's wanting to apply this program within their program area or portfolio must:

a. Attend and complete the training session on Duty to Accommodate and Attendance Management for Managers offered by Human Resources.


b. Consult with your HR Partner on specific cases prior to initiating any steps and at each subsequent stage. The HR Partner will provide guidance at each stage and manage access to appropriate templates.

Guiding Principles

The University believes that:

  • The University has a responsibility to provide a safe, respectful, and healthy workplace;

  • All staff are valued team members who contribute to the quality of service at the University;

  • Regular attendance is essential to furthering the University's goals and objectives;

  • Staff have a contractual obligation to attend work;

  • Some Absences are unavoidable and to be expected from time to time (legitimate Absences are supported through various approved leaves such as sick leave, personal leave, family illness leave, and appointment time);

  • Each staff member's personal health issues are unique therefore an individual's attendance must be considered in context on a case-by-case basis;

  • Frequent, positive, and supportive communication between Managers and their staff is critical to improving attendance and developing a culture of regular attendance; and

  • Maintaining regular attendance is primarily the responsibility of the staff member, however, the University recognizes it has a duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship when required and requested.

General Responsibilities

Submitted by 21232f297a57a5a... on Wed, 06/25/2014 - 3:22pm

The Attendance Support Program is guided by a clear set of principles that are supportive in nature and recognize the importance of regular communication.

Click on the tabs below to see the duties and responsibilities of the various departments and players involved.


  • Attend work on time as scheduled unless unable to do so for legitimate reasons;

  • Make every effort to schedule personal appointments or obligations outside of work hours and obtain prior approval if they are required to be absent for a personal appointment;

  • Follow established reporting procedures when they are not able to attend work and indicate the reason and expected date of return;

  • Provide medical documentation to Staff Wellness when required to support an absence;

  • Seek solutions to issues that may be impacting their ability to maintain regular attendance;

  • Request accommodation if required;

  • Accept reasonable offers of accommodation;

  • Keep the Manager and Staff Wellness informed of any changes in accommodation; and

  • Provide supporting documentation to validate the need for accommodation.


  • Be accountable for the attendance levels within their areas including ensuring accurate reporting and keeping appropriate records/documentation or attendance issues;

  • Review Absence Summary Reports on a quarterly basis;

  • Assess and identify potential Absence problems in a timely manner;

  • Clearly communicate the acceptable attendance standard to staff members;

  • Provide regular feedback to staff regarding their attendance;

  • Assist staff who are struggling with attendance issues to develop an action plan to improve attendance and support them in achieving the goals of their action plan;

  • Maintain appropriate communication with staff who are absent from work;

  • Inquire as appropriate about potential accommodation needs; and

  • Seek out and offer reasonable accommodations when required in a timely manner.


  • Maintain and report data or statistics regarding attendance;

  • Provide training on the Program;

  • Maintain the Program along with any supporting resources and documents to support staff and Managers in fulfilling their responsibilities;

  • Provide advice and support to Managers who are dealing with absenteeism issues;

  • Assist the Manager and staff to understand their obligations under the duty to accommodate; and

  • Assist the Manager in fulfilling their duty to accommodate.


  • Assist staff and managers with the administration of sick leave, disability, and Workers Compensation benefits;

  • Request and manage confidential medical information when appropriate,

  • Assist in the development of return to work plans;

  • Act as a resource for managers and staff when a staff member is unable to attend work due to illness or injury;

  • Advise the Manager whether medical information supports an Absence from work;

  • Consult with Human Resources, Employee and Labour Relations as necessary;

Attendance Monitoring and Identifying Attendance Concerns

The Program provides a process for consistently monitoring attendance wherein regular attendance is commended and excessive absenteeism is addressed with the goal of bringing attendance in line with the Acceptable Standard.


Other Program Resources