January 27, 2015

Don’t let employee absence affect your business

Sickness absence is a costly issue for many employers and, with the start of a new year, it’s a great time to take a fresh look at your absence management procedure.

The tips below should help in guiding you towards managing your employee absence levels and deal with any issues that arise as a result…

1. Have a clear policy in place

It is important that you have a policy which states the expected standards of attendance. The same policy should also state how absence will be managed from investigation point through to long term management where necessary. The policy should be easily accessible to employees whether it is through a hard copy or on your company intranet.

The Moorepay Employee Handbook provides a comprehensive policy.

2. Manage Absence

It can be easy to overlook a couple of days of absence here and there. All the odd days add up as a cost to your business, the service you provide to your clients and the quality of your work.

In order to limit the effect absences have on your business, conduct regular return to work interviews with all employees for all absences. This will maintain consistency and also provide an opportunity to identify any underlying issues that you need to be aware of.

3. Monitor with a view to dealing with repeat offenders

Monitoring absences is an ideal way for you to identify patterns of absence for both individuals and departments. This will determine whether you need to take further action with the individuals involved.

Once you have identified that there is a situation for you to deal with, take action. Use the records of your return to work interviews as evidence of persistent absence.

4. Exercise care

While absence management is a perfect tool for you to manage your resources, it is also the perfect tool for identifying issues that your employees may be having which are affecting absence levels.

This can be anything from issues at work, to problems at home or to an underlying illness. Also remember that time off for dependent’s leave, although unpaid, can also be a great cost to you, so ensure you are keeping a record of all absences.

Once an issue has been revealed, it is then up to you to offer guidance and support in dealing with the absences and the best way to move forward.

Consider the involvement of occupational health and risk assessments to support reasonable adjustments at work. Most employees also have the right to request flexible working, so deal with the requests appropriately when they are made.

5. See it through

Identifying issues is only part of the management process.

As a good employer you should be offering reasonable support and adjustments for your employees. This is a continuous support mechanism and should regularly be monitored to ensure that you are aware of any changes that need to be considered further.

This includes being aware of the Equality Act 2010 and to ensure that you do not discriminate when dealing with someone who has a disability as defined by the legislation.

It is important to remember that while absences should be managed, absence due to sickness or emergencies is inevitable. A common sense approach is encouraged towards all employees.

What to know more? Check out our employee absence whitepaper. Should you need advice on any absence matter, contact us or the Moorepay Advice Line on 0844 391 1921.

By Masooda Ali

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