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Scottish Police Services Are Sick of Staff Absence

On average, Staff Absence costs UK businesses more than £12 Billion per year and it looks like the Police Services across Scotland are feeling the ill-effects of repeated staff absence themselves.

With a staff absence rate of 4.3% for Police Officers and 5.1% for Police Staff, Scottish Police Services absence rates fall just below the UK average of 4.5% but at an estimated cost of £780 per employee, per year , staff absence is probably a cost they can ill afford, especially in the current financial climate where every penny is a prisoner, even in the public sector.

Findings detailed in a report produced by HM Inspectorate of Constabulary highlighted that more than 60% of staff absences are ‘self – certified’ and also made reference to examples of staff off on long-term sick returning to work just days before their sick pay ran out and others returning to work so they could accrue further rights to full sick pay.

The key recommendation made in the report was that forces “urgently seek a change in statutory regulations to extend the range of options available” for managing police officers with unsatisfactory attendance levels.

How much is staff absence costing your business?  Are you managing staff absence in a way that will reduce costs and absences or struggling in the same way Scottish Police Services are?

Help is at hand……..

Many Employers are uncertain about what they can or can’t do when it comes to managing staff absence, fear facing an Employment Tribunal if they take action and so put off addressing staff absence issues ultimately creating an environment where absence is seen as ‘acceptable’.

Our ability to provide expert Employment Law Advice and HR Management Support helps ensure our Clients are able to avoid costly employment tribunals AND reduce costs associated with staff absence.

At the outset, we recommend that businesses should ensure the key foundations necessary to effectively manage staff absence on an ongoing basis are in place. These key foundations include:

  • Good HR strategy, policies and procedures including absence measurement
  • Line manager training and staff communication
  • Confronting poor attendance
  • A Review of Sick Pay Scheme
  • Return to work interviews
  • A Review of occupational health support
  • Fairness, flexibility and the working environment
  • Preventative measures

Once the key foundations are in place, businesses can deploy a variety of absence interventions that can immediately start reducing absence levels. Effective interventions in managing staff absence include:

  • Return-to-work interviews (widely regarded as most effective way to reduce absence)
  • Disciplinary procedures for unacceptable absence levels
  • Use of trigger mechanisms such as the Bradford Factor to review attendance
  • Involving trained line managers in absence management
  • Restricting sick pay
  • Involving occupational health professionals
  • Effective well-being preventative initiatives

We’ve helped a number of businesses avoid costly employment tribunals while reducing their staff absence rates and can help you too! If you’d like more information on how effective HR Services can help you to reduce your costs and manage your staff absence issues more effectively call visit the main EmployEasily HR website or call us today on Freephone 0800 612 4772.

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