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