Current statistics tell us that on average each year businesses lose a working week per employee to sickness absence. If your company has 10 employees, you could be losing 10 working weeks each year. A lot of business owners don’t measure the real cost of absence, but it’s definitely something they worry about.
Whilst we know everyone gets sick from time to time, effective absence management and a clear policy ensures you stay on the front foot. It will prevent a sickness absence issue from becoming a problem, financially or in terms of productivity and quality.
Top-tips for your sickness absence policy:
- Make sure employees know when and who to call when they are unable to attend work due to sickness. Insist on a telephone call where possible.
- Include the requirement to provide a ‘Fit Note’ covering continuous periods of absence longer than a week
- Have a policy of carrying out return to work interviews with employees consistently for any sickness absence
- Introduce a Sickness Absence Review process with clear trigger points, to flag high levels of absence and discuss constructively with employees
- Ensure the Sickness Absence Review process covers short and long-term absence
- Manage expectations around sick pay by stating the policy clearly. Ie if you have company sick pay or Statutory Sick Pay, and when they apply
- State that the company can require employees to attend a medical examination with a doctor should it deem necessary
- Include information and links about any support available through company benefits, or public bodies/charities
- Ensure the policy covers support the company provides on mental health issues
By following these top tips for putting together your policy, you can address any sickness absence issues arising before they reach unacceptable levels.
If you’re worried about sickness absence in your business and would like help to introduce a policy so you can manage sickness absence, get in touch.