Absences can often become an issue at this time of the year as many employees may be suffering from illness during the winter months. It is essential to remember that Absences are going to happen and that is why it is important to have clear and consistent Absence Management Policies in place. The aim of these policies should be to support attendance rather than manage Absence. See some top tips for a successful Absence Management Policy below:
Notification/Reporting Absence – Make sure that employees know how to notify you about their Absence. Who do they contact? When do they contact? What method of communication do they have to use? Do they need to provide a medical cert? It is important to have clear instructions for reporting Absences.
Record Keeping – It is vital to keep accurate attendance records for every employee. Make sure that records are kept consistently. Who is in charge of keeping these records? Is it the Line Manager/HR/Owner? Have a clear policy in place.
Return to Work Interview –These interviews must be consistently completed for any Absence. A return to work interview gives the employer a chance to welcome the employee back to work. It is also an opportunity to check if the employee is fit to return to work.
Work Related Stress & Absence – Work-related stress is defined by the Health & Safety Authority as ‘referring to those reactions due to pressure/deadlines/threats/anxieties within the working environment.’ Employers may consider Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP'S) or look at other ways to limit an employee’s stress to handle these types of Absences.
Disciplinary Procedure – It is important to make employees aware of what will happen if they do not follow the correct procedures in relation to short-term or long-term Absences.