Absenteeism from work can be a major problem for many businesses. Therefore, it is vitally important that you have an effective Absence Management Policy in place and that it is communicated to all your employees.

There are two main types of absences: short term and long term.


  • Short Term Absences: can have a huge impact on the day to day running of your business, as you will have to try and juggle organising cover whilst ensuring everyone is still productive. It is imperative that you conduct return to work interviews with employees who have a high level of absence in order to ascertain whether or not they are fit to return to work, if the illness is related to work, the likelihood of the illness reoccurring and also to check in on how the employee is feeling. 


  • Long Term Absences: Where an employee is on long-term absence, it is important to maintain contact with the employee to understand whether it is likely that they will return to work in the future. An employee on long-term absence should continue to submit medical certificates and keep you updated on their likely return to work date. If you do not keep in regular contact with an employee who is out on long term sickness, they could easily become a forgotten employee. 


Any employee who is absent on long term sickness still accrues their annual leave entitlement when they are submitting regular medical certificates, hence the importance of having in place effective policies and procedures to manage employee absence. You should ensure you have a clause within your employment contracts that allows you to refer them to a Company Doctor if required. This independent assessment will give provide you with an indication of when the employee can return to work or whether the employee will require alternative employment in the organisation.


If you have any queries or require any additional advice in relation to managing employee absence, please feel free to contact Boyd HR on 074 9123150.


Created by: Nicola Gallagher, Account Manager, Boyd HR

Absenteeism from work is a growing problem for many organisations. With mental health illness on the rise, it is now more important than ever that organisations have in place effective policies and procedures to manage employee absence.

It is essential that organisations are able to monitor absence and manage absence levels. Dealing with the loss of employee time and productivity results in high costs and decreased sales and revenues for the organisation. It is also important that workplaces create a culture of wellness, where employees feel good at work and feel ‘looked after’ by their employer.

Boyd HR can help you manage workplace absence effectively by introducing the following practices:

    • Produce clear written procedures for reporting absence and providing medical certificates
    • Produce a policy on sick pay guidelines and entitlements
    • Provide a procedure for managing frequent short-term absence
    • Provide a procedure for managing long-term absence
    • Seek the right to arrange Occupational Health Assessments (in the employment contract)
    • Accurately record and monitor absence
    • Address high absence records by communicating to the employee and re-issuing the attendance policy
    • Conduct return-to-work interviews
    • Seek a ‘fit to work’ cert where necessary
    • Train managers on how to handle absence
    • Create a culture of wellness where employees feel good at work

Boyd HR can help you create a tailored absence policy along with Manager guidelines. We help many businesses with

Whether it be intermittent absences or long-term absences, we can safely guide you through the process step by step, to the point of termination of employment on the grounds of incapacity.

When you work with us, you will see the following results:

    • a reduction in the potential duration of employees’ absence;
    • an increase in the likelihood of sick employees returning to work;
    • a reduction in the likelihood of repeated spells of absence;
    • a decrease in the costs of absence to the business.


If you would like to learn more about how to manage workplace absence, call Boyd HR on 074 91 23150.