A good absence policy sets out acceptable levels of absence and guides managers to review absence patterns early on. It should also provide a clear guide for follow-up actions. When more serious consequences should follow from a poor attendance record. Quite often the first meeting or referral is not the end of the story. The condition may cause another absence further down the line. There may also be follow-up actions like workplace adjustments and risk assessments to complete as a result of the initial review. Managers should review regularly if the measures are working and check in with how the employee is doing, especially if they have a further absence from work.
The most common mistake we see in absence policies is unnecessary complexity. Honeydew’s mission is to make good absence management easy. In this article, we’ll go through the do’s and don’ts of writing absence policies. We will explain how to write a policy that is an effective tool for line managers.
From the desk of Honeydew Director of Product, Inka Howorth:
I began my work in the absence management sector in 2008. That’s a lot of years of HR discourse and I’ve met a lot of practitioners of all kinds in that time. I’ve also encountered many approaches to writing an absence policy. This puts me in a privileged position to evaluate these approaches and provide a best practice guidance on what actually works, in the form of a new eBook. Continue reading
More often than you maybe realise, communication breaks down somewhere along the line between reporting an absence and updating sick pay records. Many companies rely on cumbersome, manual processes to notify payroll about which absences are paid and which are not. Continue reading
Instead of a disciplinary atmosphere, managers should use the time with the employee to show that they care. Managers’ attitude to the interviews will have a direct impact on the usefulness of the meeting. So how to make sure your return to work interviews feel meaningful to manager and employee alike?
We are once more in the middle of a whirlwind of ever-changing government advice about Covid. On 19th July, only days from now, workplaces can re-open normally – in theory at least. The rising Covid infection rates in the UK mean that there is a lot of anxiety about the re-opening. Employers have decisions to make about how to best serve their business and customers whilst looking after employee welfare. Continue reading
About 1 in 10 people who contract Covid, will go on to develop Long Covid. These patients cannot shake off the effects of the virus months after initially falling ill. They may still experience symptoms more than three weeks after infection. Perhaps 60,000 people could be suffering from Long Covid symptoms after more than three months. Continue reading
CIPD and Simplyhealth published their annual survey on Health and wellbeing at work in April 2021. It is based on responses gathered online from late November to mid-December 2020, between the 2nd and 3rd waves of Covid-19 pandemic in the UK. Continue reading
Most companies that have an absence policy define what is considered Long Term Absence. There are management tasks linked to the categorisation of long term absences. Commonly, managers refer long term absentees to Occupational Health and organise a welfare meeting with the employee. Organisations should start these activities as soon as the manager identifies if the absence is likely to become long term.
This is a myth.
It is not uncommon for a capability procedure to stall or even come to a complete standstill because the employee is refusing to attend a capability meeting. Without the meeting going ahead, the employer is unable to continue with the necessary stages of the process and a resolution one way or another remains pending. This does not have to be the case, however, since a capability meeting can also be held in the employee’s absence. As long as the employee has been given reasonable opportunity to attend or to submit responses in writing, the employer can justifiably proceed without the employee present. Continue reading