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Sickness and Absence

Sickness absence is inevitable but it is how you manage it that is key, it is crucial that all employees are treated fairly and in compliance with employment legislation.  The cost of sickness absence to a business is enormous in both time and money, research shows that only a third of employers monitor that cost.  Effective absence management seeks to support the needs of employees whilst providing clear and consistent guidance.

Short term absence

Can be defined at frequent, recurring periods of absence which do not relate to an underlying health issue.

  • Use your company Sickness Absence Policy to manage any periods of absence.
  • Be clear how absence is managed and ensure all employees have access to the company Sickness Absence Policy including their responsibilities.
  • You need to know why employees are absent and when they plan to return and monitor all absence levels.
  • Identify areas of concern such as persistent short term absences or patterns.

Long term absence

Can be defined as a continuous period of absence for greater than 6 weeks.

  • Communicating with an employee who is off for a long period is fundamental.
  • Ensure the employee provides the required doctors note to cover their period of absence.
  • Consider phased returns when the employee is fit to return to work.
  • Long term absence does not have to be sustained indefinitely.

Unauthorised absence

Can be defined as a period of absence where the employee has not adhered to the company Sickness Absence Policy or has not turned up for work or cannot be contacted.

  • Not adhering to policy is a conduct issue and you may consider disciplinary action.
  • How we can help and support you
  • Practical and professional advice in relation to your specific situation
  • Legally compliant documentation including a Sickness Absence Policy and return to work forms.
  • Deliver sickness and absence management training for your managers and employees
  • Liaison with Employee Assistance Program provider