Employment Law/Managing Staff Absences25th July 2010
Managing Staff Absence
Apparently statistics show that in this country staff are absent from work on average 7.4 days per year, and these absences cost businesses an average of £710 per employee per year.
If for example your business employs 10 staff with average absence rates, then you could be losing £7,100 a year! This does not even cover other consequences of staff absence such as reduced productivity, additional costs of overtime for others and poor customer service.
There are a number of methods which can help to reduce and manage staff absenteeism. These include:-
(a) limits or restrictions on contractual sick pay, e.g. only at the discretion of the employer;
(b) return to work interviews, so that staff that may be ‘swinging the lead’ know they are being monitored and may need to give full explanations of absences;
(c) disciplinary procedures for unacceptable absence levels, which can cover frequent short absences;
(d) a contractual requirement to have an employee medically examined by an independent doctor in order to confirm the employee’s medical condition;
(e) the use of trigger mechanisms to monitor attendance such as the Bradford Factor;
(f) having line managers trained in absence management; and
(g) incentives to keep staff at work (e.g. rewards for good attendance records – but beware employees who when really unfit for work will come in in order to preserve their good attendance record!).
Daven Naghen, head of our Employment Team, advises that “Every business has different needs, and some of the above methods work for some and not others. However it is essential that all businesses have suitable policies and procedures in place to manage staff absences. If these policies and procedures are properly implemented, with appropriate action taken when applicable, then the level of staff absences should reduce significantly and this will provide the business with significant cost savings as well as improved productivity.”
If you need your policies and procedures reviewing, or even prepared from scratch, then please contact Daven on 01775 722261 or email firstname.lastname@example.org