How to tackle duvet days

At this time of year when it is cold and wet outside staying home becomes more and more attractive and employees are more likely to rack up the duvet days. Dealing with short term absences in the winter months may be very challenging for some companies. Jane Klauber, in her article for the CIPD, mentions that detailed monitoring and recording of absence days is essential to effectively identify any difficulties within the company.

Set out clear expectations and procedures

Klauber writes that employers need to make sure that their employment contracts clearly set out all procedures of how to provide a notification and certification of sickness absence. Managers should inform their staff what their expectations are in terms of attendance. At the same time all employees must be aware of opportunities where they can improve their attendance. Employees should also be fully aware of possible penalties resulting from unacceptable levels of absence. That should certainly deter anyone from taking too many duvet days.  Klauber mentions that companies need a clear absence management strategy to moderate the effects of poor attendance. That’s where Honeydew can help and provide a platform to engage in positive attendance management.

Follow best practice and keep good records

Klauber asserts that all employees should be required to contact their employer on the days when they are absent by phone within one hour of their shift start. Using an online absence recording system, like Engage, makes it really easy to keep consistent records of absence and to ensure that full details are logged starting with the first call. Using the online absence registration form can serve as the self-certification that Klauber recommends and the Return to Work interviews which Engage prompts and guides you through will ensure a fitness to work has been confirmed before the employee returns to their usual duties. Completing all these steps online means less paperwork and fewer paper forms to keep track of – all the forms and records will be stored online and accessible whenever you need them.

Engage employees to eradicate duvet days for good

As Klauber mentions, “Ensuring policies and data are up to date is essential, but implementation relies on good management.” Make sure line managers know how to deal with absence and understand how – and why – to conduct return work interviews. And don’t forget the positive side of absence management that comes from motivating, inspiring and engaging employees. A great relationship between managers and their staff will make employees become more dedicated to their job – making duvet days a thing of the past!

If you want to see the fun side of absence management, meet our ‘Usual Suspects’. These 5 quirky characters are the culprits behind most absence problems. Do you recognise any of them?