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Sickness & Absence Management

The number of working days lost because of sickness or injury was an estimated 185.6 million working days in 2022, a new record high. This represents an increase of 35.8 million from 2021 and 47.4 million more than its pre-pandemic 2019 level.

(SOURCE: ONS Data - Apr 2023)

What is Absence Management?

Absence management is an important way in which a company can support staff with health issues to stay in or return to work. At the same time, it enables the monitoring and managing of those employees that take unsustainable and disruptive levels of time off work.

Effective absence management is vital for any small business looking to lower their costs and boost their productivity. Lost days at work are incredibly costly and disruptive for employers and the wider economy. In the UK, the total economic cost of sickness absence is estimated to be over £100bn annually.

In addition to the direct costs, employee absence can have a significant impact on the productivity of your workforce. It can lead to feelings of demotivation from employees that have to cover absentees’ work. Low motivation is a common cause of reduced productivity. Lower productivity levels will be reflected in your small business’s finances, which are in turn reflected in the economy.

Have you got an Absence Management (Sickness) Policy in place?

(Having a robust Absence Management Policy will go a long way in helping to discourage phoney sick days!)

A good Absence Management (Sickness) Policy will make clear exactly what is expected from the employee if they need to take time off work - explaining how the employer will monitor and manage absence. It should contain information including:

  • How to report an absence to the employer

  • When a sick note is required

  • Entitlements to sick pay

  • Leave for Short- and long-term sickness

  • Return to work interviews

  • How absence is tracked and monitored

  • Review/trigger points for sickness absence meetings

  • Reasonable adjustments (under the Equality Act 2010)

If an employer has an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP) or provides occupational health, the policy will also need to include information on those arrangements and how the employee will be supported through occupational health involvement.

There is a lot that needs to go into an Absence Management (Sickness) Policy and it is important to get it right - particularly as it's easy to fall foul of the law in this area!

Supporting you to Manage Absence

Whether you need help in putting an effective absence management policy together, or an urgent need to deal with a pressing problem, our qualified, experienced HR consultants can help navigate potentially difficult issues including:

  • Long term absence

  • Unexpected absence 

  • Frequent or high levels of sickness 

  • Absences due to stress 

  • Absences due to disability

  • Unauthorised absence 

  • Back to work interviews 

  • Managing a return to work after long-term illness or absence 

We support small businesses with absence management in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy, Anglesey, Wrexham, Cheshire, Merseyside, Wirral, Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire - and nationally too.

LC Management Consulting, Ruthin: HR Advice and HR Support for small business -  HR Consultant supporting small businesses in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy, Anglesey, Wrexham, Cheshire, Merseyside, Wirral, Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire - and nationally. 

Do you need to get to grips with absence in your business?

Talk to us today.

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