HR18
Dealing with Long term sickness and absence in the Workplace


Course Contents

How do I get it right?
Measure absence to find out:
how much time is lost
where absence occurs most
how often individual employees are absent.

Monitor absence by:

obtaining the employee’s consent to keep
details of individual records of sick absence,
which are ‘sensitive personal data’ under the
Data Protection Act 1998;
keeping accurate attendance records which
show individual instances of absence,
together with duration, reason and where in
the company the absentee works;
ensuring that records can be easily analysed
by section or department, month or year;
The DPA
assure staff that any sensitive personal data
will be kept for only as long as necessary and
will only be assessed by named departments
or individuals;
making sure that absence measurement
figures show the scale and nature of the
problem – whether there is an absence
problem and which of the main categories
of absence are involved:
long-term sickness
short-term certified or uncertified sickness
unauthorised absence and lateness.
Reduce absence levels by paying special
attention to:
working conditions
job design
payment systems
communications and induction and training
welfare
employment relations
health and safety (including stress)
flexible working arrangements.
Deal with short-term certificated or uncertificated
sickness by:
interviewing employees on their return
to work;
making arrangements for medicals
where necessary;
having a policy on the provision of certificates
to cover sick absence, although GPs are not
obliged to provide patients with certificates
for illnesses of seven days or less;
ensuring employees are told if their level of
absence is putting their job at risk.

Deal with long-term sickness by:
discussing the problem with the
employee concerned;
considering alternative work or working
arrangements, whether the job can be
covered by other employees or temporary
replacements and how long the job can
be kept open (be aware of the requirements
of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995,
which applies to all employers);
seeking medical opinions from the
employee’s GP or a company doctor.

Deal with authorised absence or lateness by:

requiring absent employees to phone in
by a given time on each day of absence;
ensuring that the supervisor has an informal
talk with the employee on the day after
absence if no explanation is presented;
taking disciplinary action if the unexplained
absence continues.

What if I get it wrong?

High levels of unauthorised absence, including
lateness and certificated or uncertificated sick
leave, can:
cause lost or delayed production
reduce the range or standard of service
cause low morale and dissatisfaction
indicate other, more deep seated problems.

One Day Course 09.30 – 17.00

Galvyn Training and HR Consultancy Ltd.

Galvyn Training and HR Consultancy Ltd.