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Managing Absence

Regular readers will know that we try to reinforce how important it is that you manage absence at work. The government are launching “fit notes” on 6 April which we have covered on several occasions and I thought it would be useful to provide a brief update on how you can improve attendance at your business, as it costs your business money every year. The latest survey from the CIPD says that sickness absence costs employers £692 per employee every year. If you have 25 employees that’s £17,300 every year, money I’m sure you could invest elsewhere.
What about the other costs?
That’s good point and as you know there is also an impact on morale which affects your other employees who pick up the workload when others take time off work.

Why do people take time off work?

There are many reasons why people take time off work. These can be:
Short term sickness absence (uncertificated, self certificated or covered by a doctor’s certificate)
• Long term sickness absence
• Unauthorised absence or persistent lateness
• Other authorised absences eg maternity leave, paternity, jury duty and training courses.

What causes sickness?

If we concentrate on sickness absence, the main causes of sickness absence for employees are minor illness including colds, flu, stomach upsets and headaches. It is difficult to establish if swine or season flu increased as most people who state they were off with flu may have in fact only had a heavy cold.

The number of employers reporting an increase in stress related absence, particularly in non-manual jobs, continues to rise with the CIPD reporting a 27% increase in stress related absence in the previous 12 months. This is likely to be down to the recession and possibly due to money worries, job uncertainty and a partner who has perhaps been made redundant. It is likely this figure will continue to rise in the short term.

How can I manage stress at work?

As a business owner you need to come up with ways to help people manage stress at work. Your body language and demeanour could help, and ensuring you create a culture where employees can feel they are listened to won’t do any harm either. It is important to educate your managers and ensure they know the signs, and can deal with this issue if it arises. We can help you in this complex field too, so you’re not alone.

How can I improve attendance?

Do you have a policy or procedure in place? If not, that’s your first priority. Set expectations and manage accordingly.

If you can make an improvement it will help go a long way to making you more productive.

Do you need assistance developing a sickness absence policy, or how to manage stress in the workplace? If so, please contact us on 0800 612 4772 or get a Free Quote.


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