Posted on by Jessica Peaty

How to Monitor and Manage Employee Absences

Employers will be more than aware of the financial impact sickness absence can have on your business. From statutory sick pay to finding temporary cover, regular employee absences can be seriously costly. Not only can it cost your business financially but there are several knock- on effects that could be detrimental if not controlled.

  • Low Moral- Lack of staff may mean that others need to stay late to keep on top of the increase in workload and as a result causing morale to fall.
  • Project deadlines missed- If employees are having regular time off sick it can delay projects and lead to lack of communication between teams, ultimately leading to low production levels.
  • Mistakes being made- Sometimes it will be necessary for staff to take on jobs that belong to whoever is off sick. It’s natural for mistakes to be made when handovers aren’t done properly and last minute jobs get landed on desks. This can often lead to relationships with customers being jeopardised.

Ways to manage absence

Long or short term absences the best way to start is by monitoring your absences. Selima provides just the tools you need with their Cloud based HR software. Our powerful, in depth HR reports allow you to analyse sickness days lost with inbuilt Bradford Factor triggers help you to identify and address negative absence trends. Taking small steps towards monitoring absences really will make a big difference, and putting procedures in place should help you decrease the amount of sickness time your employees are having off work.

Fit notes- If an employee is off work for more than 7 days in a row (including weekends) you must request a Fit note from them. This is a legitimate note from a doctor which deems them either fit or not fit for work. It will also help you have a clearer idea of what it is that is preventing your employee from coming into work and if there is anything further you can do to help. Fit notes are a great start to encourage higher attendance rates and help cut the cost of staff absence but for longer absences you may want to think about introducing more consequential actions.

Attendance incentives- rewarding your employees who don’t have time off work is an excellent way to encourage higher attendance levels and discourage any unnecessary absences. The incentives can be anything from cash prizes to expenses paid trips. Early finishes are also popular incentives amongst staff but means you can still manage working hours.

Return to work interviews- this is known to be the most effective procedure when managing absence. IT is a way of deterring non genuine absences and avoiding presenteeism. Presenteesism is where employees come into work even when they’re not well enough to as they are concerned about the security of their job. Having absences is bad but something that can be dealt with quite easily however if someone is working unwell they are likely to make mistakes and be much less productive. Employees who have to sit next to their ill colleague when they’re due to jet off on their holidays at the weekend won’t be overly impressed with germs being spread around the office causing more sickness.

So it’s clear that unless you know what you are dealing with, it is pretty impossible to manage absences. Having good communicative relationships with your employees is vital in ensuring you are taking the precautionary and auxiliary approaches to decrease employee absences.

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