Employment Law & HR News & Updates.

Updates in Employment Law & HR Advice for Businesses

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Handling Sickness and Absence

Winter offers a host of problems for employers with staff morale often low after Christmas. However, there are other issues that the winter months pose to workers including staff illness and absenteeism.

Many employees feel guilty when ill and may not want to take any time off as they feel they are letting their employees and colleagues down. However, there may be occasions when an employee will take a sick day without a valid reason.

It is important for employers that they ensure their staff feel comfortable taking time off for genuine illness, but do not seem too intrusive or overbearing.

Dealing with Absenteeism

To effectively deal with absenteeism, it is important to assess why staff are off, when they will come back and establish procedures dealing with absenteeism and illness.

Your business should have a procedure in place to deal with the following situations:

  • Short-term sickness absence which lasts less than a week
  • Repeated short-term sickness absences that may follow a pattern
  • Long-term sickness absence lasting several weeks or more
  • Unauthorised absence for other reasons.

Keeping a record of each employee’s absences, how often they are absent, how much this is costing the firm and what their record is in comparison to other members of staff is a useful tool when dealing with problematic and recurring absenteeism.

By having a clear policy in place and clear records of absenteeism, it will allow you to take legal action if required while having evidence to support your argument if, for instance, you have to later dismiss a frequently-absent employee.

Contact Us

If you require advice regarding the dismissal of an employee or if you would like the advice of an HR specialist following an employee issue, contact our team today using our online contact form or give us a call now on 0808 1151 040.

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