1. Introduction

It is crucial to the safe running of the service that arrangements are in place to  ensure the service continues to be  properly managed when the registered manager (the person in day to day charge of the service) is  absent for any reason.

2. Notifying the Care Quality Commission

The service must have contingency plans in place in relation to the absence (for whatever reason) of the registered manager, and inform the Care Quality Commission (CQC) about any of the following:

  • any significant planned absences from the service;
  • any significant unplanned absences;
  • how the service will be run while they are away;
  • when they return from a significant absence (within seven days of their return).

In the case of planned absences of 28 days or more, wherever possible, 28 days’ notice should be given to the CQC. Where this is not possible (because the absence is planned less than 28 days before it begins), the CQC will be notified without delay before the absence begins, or, in the case of an emergency absence, within five working days of commencement of the absence.

2.1 Notification details

The notification should include:

  • expected length of absence;
  • the reason for the absence;
  • arrangements in place to run the service while the registered manager is away;
  • the name, address and qualifications of the person who will be responsible for the service while the registered manager is away;
  • if the length of the absence is unknown, how long the situation will continue before a new manager will be proposed for registration.

2.2 Giving notice of absence

Where the absence is due to an emergency, the registered person (or their line manager) must give notice of the absence to the CQC within five working days, giving details of the points in Section 2.1 above.

If  the registered manager has been absent for a continuous period of 28 days or more, and CQC has not been given notice of the absence, the registered person must give notice in writing to the CQC addressing the above points.

2.3 Returning from absence

The registered manager must notify the CQC no later than seven working days after the date of their return.

In the case of a return to work as a result of sick leave, all reasonable steps must be made to make adjustments for registered managers to enable them to carry out their role. These must be in line with requirements to make reasonable adjustments for employees under the Equality Act 2010.