CIPD have released their annual Health and Wellbeing at Work report 2022. The headline findings include the prevalence of long Covid and mental health issues. However, with Covid in remission, attention to health and wellbeing is declining. Continue reading
Throughout the pandemic, the uncertainty and worries have heightened the mental health issues everyone has to deal with in their daily lives. On 9th February, Boris Johnson announced that the last Covid isolation rule could be scrapped a month early. That would mean we’ll be back to ‘normal’ life, in terms of work and socialising, although it’ll hardly feel fully normal to most. Employers should be mindful of the impacts the pandemic has and will continue to have on their employees. The effects will vary between individuals so listening to employees is important. Continue reading
I am going to be bold enough to assume that no absence policy was ever written with a global pandemic in mind. Until now. At the time of writing this, we are still in the midst of the chaos caused by Covid-19. The disease has been with us for nearly two years and the situation keeps evolving. This makes it very hard to draw policy decisions on how to manage absence that is caused by Covid-19. Nevertheless, we have already learned a few good lessons and will share them in this article.
Your absence policy should be a blueprint for managers to follow but not so rigid that there is no space for discretion. Discretion doesn’t mean that managers should be able to pick
and choose when to implement the policy. Quite the opposite, meetings and discussions should be held on all occasions.
28 calendar days is a common definition of long-term absence. There’s nothing wrong with this definition in itself. However, waiting 4 weeks to offer support or consider referral to support services is a missed opportunity. This often means that medical appointments don’t take place until the 6th or 7th week of the absence. It also delays the welfare review meeting with management further to the 8th or 9th week of the absence.
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