Top tips and advice from hr inspire on managing short-term absence…

At what point should management of short-term sickness absence start?

When an employee telephones to report that they are sick and will not be attending work.

Frequent Causes of Absenteeism

These are common causes of frequent spells of short-term absence.

  • Underlying medical condition that flares up from time to time
  • Family/Domestic problems

Things to remember

  • Always be open minded about cause of absence
  • Cause of absence may be outside employee’s control
  • Understanding cause of absence is an important part of remedying it
  • If underlying medical condition is cause of absence, consider obtaining medical report to ensure appropriate management approach

Possible impact of workplace factors on absenteeism

  • Be alert to signals that employee may be experiencing workplace stress to the extent that he/she is not coping e.g. change in normal behaviour at work
  • Medical certificates stating “stress”, “depression” or “anxiety” should put manager on notice and prompt Informal Discussion/Meeting – seek support from hr inspire

Return to Work Procedure

  • There are two parts to the return-to-work procedure – completion of a self-certified sickness form and a return-to-work interview
  • Effective return to work interviews can prevent the need for formal action in the future by identifying and resolving issues quickly
  • If absence levels do not improve, thoroughly documented return to work interviews can lead effectively into the capability procedure
  • Irrespective of length of absence, hold return-to-work interview on employee’s return helps to deter casual absences

 

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