Handling Long & Short Term Absenteeism in The Workplace
Unplanned absenteeism in the work place can have a huge impact on productivity, costs, employee morale and customer care and should always be managed proactively and consistently across the workforce. There is no one size fits all solution to workplace absenteeism but a structured and early intervention approach is required regardless of the length of absence and reasons for absences. The following are some tips on managing absenteeism:
- Draft an absence policy that outlines the organisation's commitment to having people at work and the consequences of not attending work on a regular basis;
- Ensure there are clear absence notification procedures in place including when employees are expected to supply medical certificates;
- Include trigger points for absence levels that will result in a review being initiated;
- Keep accurate absence records are kept;
- Consider the use of Return to Work Interviews for all absences;
- Distinguish between lateness, short term absences and longer term absences and consider reasons put forward to explain absences;
- Seek independent medical advice as appropriate (ensure contract of employment provides for right to send employee for medical reviews);
- Do not dismiss an employee without adequate review and consultation and ensure the consequences of non attendance at work are clearly outlined as well as considering feedback put forward by employee about their absence;
- Consider whether employee has a disability as defined under employment equality legislation and what if any reasonable accommodation can be made to support attendance at work.
If you require support on how to legally deal with either regular short term absenteeism or long term absences, contact HR Solutions for practical advice on the correct procedures to follow.