An employers guide to short-term employee absences.

Managing Short Term Absences – A recent study has shown that average sickness absence per employee stands at almost 6 days each year.

Times that by the number of employees you have in your organisation and you can be easily looking at a number of months per year where your staff are out of the workplace. Sickness absence costs you money. Around £16 billion a year across Great Britain, according to the report.

Short Term Absence

It’s a myth that you can’t take steps to manage short term absences. But can you dismiss someone for colds, coughs and upset stomachs? Follow the right procedure, and yes, you can. However, trying to get on top of absence levels is your first challenge.

Notification Policy

Set rules on how you want your employees to inform you that will not be in work. Think about how much notice you need, and tell employees that you require a phone call; that a text message will not be acceptable.

Why?

Making your employees talk to you to explain that they will not be in is likely to make it harder for them to lie to you, and therefore reduce the number of ‘sickies’; it’s easier to lie over text message.

Trigger Points

Create a trigger point to define the point at which absence has reached an unacceptable level, and at which disciplinary action will start.

Why?

Setting a trigger point enables you to take a consistent approach to managing short term absences and also lets employees know to expect some intervention.

Download our Free guide: Managing employee absence guideline.

If you are affected by any of the issues raised in this article and would like to speak to an HR Employment expert, then please do not hesitate in calling us FREE of charge on 01702 455777.

Record

Keep a comprehensive note of all absences; create a routine of immediately writing down the date and reasons of the absence. Keep all information together in a diary or an absence book.

Why?

With everything else you need to think about while running a business, you could easily forget that someone had a day off, and when it was.

Monitor

Asking employees to explain why they are always off sick the day after their favourite football team plays on a Sunday will show them that you may have suspicions about the validity of their absence.

Why?

Asking employees to explain why they are always off sick the day after their favourite football team plays on a Sunday will show them that you may have suspicions about the validity of their absence.

Return to Work Interviews

Speak to employees after every absence, asking them to confirm the reason and what action they took to get themselves better.

Why?

Again, asking the employee to explain their absence is likely to make them think twice about pulling a ‘sickie’ if they know they will need to look you in the eye and lie.

Disciplinary Action

Follow your disciplinary procedure to issue warnings increasing in severity up to and including dismissal where instances of sickness absence continue to occur. If absences relate to long term conditions or a disability, get expert medical opinion on any adjustments you could make to the employee’s role – this is not only something to be used with long term absences.

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2018-12-11T12:05:45+00:00January 7th, 2018|
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