Short-term absence

Such absences are usually without notice and very often leave organisations struggling to maintain an effective service.

It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether short-term absences are legitimate, since the employee will usually self-certify rather than provide a doctor’s medical certificate.

There are a number of effective interventions in managing short-term absence, including;

  • Return-to-work interviews
  • Use of trigger mechanisms such as the Bradford Factor to review attendance
  • Providing leave for family circumstances
  • Offering flexible working
  • Involving trained line managers in absence management

Sagegreen can offer other useful and practical interventions to help you manage short term absence.

Disciplinary procedures for unacceptable absence may be used to make it clear to employees that unjustified absence will not be tolerated and that absence policies will be enforced.

Line managers have an important role to play in the management of absence. They should be trained in;

  • The organisation’s absence policies and procedures
  • Their role in the absence management programme
  • The way ‘fit notes’ operate and how to act upon any advice given by the doctor
  • The legal and disciplinary aspects of absence including potential disability discrimination issues
  • Maintaining absence record-keeping and understanding facts and figures on absence
  • The operation of trigger points if they apply
  • Return-to-work interview skills

We can help train your line managers to understand and operate effectively in these matters. We’re just a quick ‘phone call away.

Long-term absence

There are a number of actions the employer should take once it becomes clear that the nature of the illness will mean a period of prolonged absence.

The role of the line manager is vital in managing long-term absence but other interventions are also important, including;

  • Occupational health involvement and proactive measures to support staff health and wellbeing
  • Managing statutory or company sick pay entitlement
  • Changes to work patterns or environment
  • Return-to-work interviews
  • Reasonable adjustments to support and encourage the employee’s return to work

Do you know what steps you should take in the recovery and return to work process?

We can advise you and help you with these, to ensure the most effective and practical results for the company and the individual.

Sickness absence

Having ensured that you have management buy-in to your absence policies, the essential ingredients of managing sickness absence include data collection and communication.

It is important that you collate data on individual absence, identify the causes of absence and keep relevant records. Your employees must be notified of the requirements for reporting sickness absence.

It is also important to keep in touch with absent employees, especially those on long term sickness absence in order to keep abreast of how the employee is feeling and to communicate company news.

You should ensure that managers have the capability and confidence to conduct interviews and to support staff as appropriate during and following sickness absence.

For example, could your mangers answer the following questions:

  • Do you have to obtain your employee’s consent before seeking medical reports?
  • Can you require absent employees to telephone in by a given time on each day of absence?
  • What if the employee is absent due to an accident at work or work-based stress?

We can work with you to determine the possibility of flexible working arrangements, or how to conduct meetings with employees to resolve short term absentee issues.

For further information, please contact us on 01606 333677