Managing sickness absence

Managing sickness absence

Managing sickness absence can be difficult as it is typically an emotive topic. After all everyone gets sick sometimes don’t they? Why should people be punished for something that everyone is impacted by? This is where a consistent and well publicised policy is critical. The messaging in that policy should read that you aren’t punishing people for their individual absence but it is something that needs addressing.

Why manage sickness absence?

Sickness absence needs managing for two main reasons.

  1. All organisations employ people to fulfil meaningful roles. If someone is regularly off sick, then work is not being completed and no organisation can afford for that to happen for a long period of time.
  2. Absence is felt by the rest of the team. If other team members are constantly having to cover for a colleagues work, their work suffers and also they risk becoming stressed. 

The key to establishing a process is to ensure that this messaging is prominent on the policy and all communications that you make about it. It’s also key to state that you will do everything that you can reasonably be expected to do to support an employee to remain in work. Reasonableness is the key test here; how many resources do you have and what could an organisation of your size easily do to support an employee? The larger the organisation, the greater expectations that will be placed upon them.

How can I consistently manage absence?

The first task is to establish a clear policy that you will then implement. Some organisations choose trigger points (number of absences in a 12 month period or number of days) whereas others use methods such as the Bradford Factor. Once these triggers or points are reached, then a formal attendance meeting takes place. This helps the consistency piece but you may need to make allowances where pregnancy or disability are a contributing factor.

How can we help you?

At Cornerstone Resources, we have HR professionals who have supported managers with complex sickness absence cases on many occasions. Because we have sat in the room, we know what it feels like to have to implement these policies. We can provide varying levels of support depending on your needs. We can:

  • Design policies and templates to ensure that employees understand what they should do if they have a concern.
  • Implement an HR system that helps you keep track of absence..
  • Provide guidance before, during and after the formal sickness absence meetings.
  • Help you determine what is a reasonable adjustment (in conjunction with medical professionals or Occupational Health. 

Who are Cornerstone Resources?

Based in South Manchester, Cornerstone Resources offer a complete HR service to businesses, charities and churches. With over 40 years combined experience in HR, we can offer you an enviable combination of professional expertise and a service based on integrity and honesty. Best of all, we can save you time and money. 

For more information on our offering, including cost effective Outsourced HR support, click here. For a no obligation quote, call us today on 07494 161169 or 07908 875146 or click the below button to email us.