5 ways of dealing with sickness and absence in the workplace

Date: Wednesday, 6th February, 2019

Inevitably employees’ being off sick for a day or two is a fact of life in the workplace, but what happens when it becomes a problem? and what are measures can you take as an employer to stop it becoming unmanageable?

We have listed below 5 ways which will help you manage absences pro-actively, reasonably and effectively:

1. Sickness Absence Policy

Don’t take a casual approach to your employees calling in sick, you don’t want to give the impression you are not that bothered. Have a policy in place that sets out expected standards of attendance and reporting requirements.  Include information on sick pay, evidence of incapacity and the sickness absence process.

2. When an employee is off sick

Keep in contact with the employee, the amount of contact will often depend on the employee’s job and size and culture of the business.  Avoid intrusive contact or any other course of contact that could cause distress. Check entitlement to sick pay, subject to qualification, Statutory sick pay (SSP) is the minimum amount of sick pay that all employees are entitled to.

3. Promote attendance

Why not praise and reward employees that don’t take time off.   Obviously you don’t want people to feel they are doing something wrong if they are genuinely ill, but an incentive like this could encourage a more positive mindset about attendance.

4. Be flexible about working hours

Some people just aren’t up to working at 9 a.m. Others wake up some days unwilling to face eight hours in front of the screen. Would it be impossible for your business to operate if you let employees decide their own hours? It’s amazing what a difference it can have on absence.

5. Encourage employees to adopt a self-employed mentality

It’s not really a coincidence that self employed workers rarely have a day off sick. They take complete responsibility for what they do, so they are motivated to do a good job.  Try to create some of that self-employed ethos in your workplace. Give employees control over their own work so they really want to be there to do it. As well as decreasing absenteeism this will create a positive can-do atmosphere in the workplace.

If you need some HR guidance regarding sickness and absence get in touch, our team will be happy to help.

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