Tag Archives: absence myths

Truth or myth? Employee must be present at a capability meeting

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

Truth or Myth? You need to be referred by a doctor for mental health support

Myth. Mental health issues can be complex and vary widely in severity. It is not always clear to the sufferer if their symptoms amount to a defined illness and even if they would like to seek help, the prospect of being diagnosed with a mental health condition – and the stigma that goes with it – can be daunting. Therefore, it’s good to know that anyone can get help without it becoming a note on their GP records. Continue reading

Myth: You need to be 100% fit to return to work

There are two common misconceptions about return to work after illness: 1) that you have to be fully recovered to return and 2) that you cannot return until a medical certificate runs out. Excluding contagious diseases or health and safety reasons barring a return, “you don’t have to be 100% OK to return to work. The earlier you can return to work the better. Work is often part of treatment, and getting back to work is part of the recovery process” (Professor Burton, NHS). Continue reading

Myth: Contacting absent employees is harrassment

It is commonplace to think that if your employees are off sick, you should not ‘bug’ them with what could feel like ‘intrusive’ phone calls or e-mails. Some even think that it could be classed as harassment to keep in regular contact with a sick employee. This is a myth. Continue reading

Myth: Employers are bound by suggestions on a fit note

Fit Note was introduced in 2010. Since then, many employers mistakenly think that they are obligated to implement suggestions made by a GP on a fit note. In fact, this is a myth. The Fit Note is intended to issue guidance on how an employee can return to work in the short term before they are expected to be fully fit for normal working duties. This means that the suggestions made on the Fit Note are expected to be temporary and should not impact on the employee returning to their full duties, eventually. Continue reading

How to manage employees who pull sickies?

Managers may often feel that they ‘know’ when employees are faking an absence. The gut feeling may be based on their personal relationship with the employee or the fact that they have noticed patterns of absence e.g. repeatedly taking sick days on a Friday. Relying on instict is not an approach we recommend. This article explains the best practice for addressing absences that you think may not be genuine.

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Should I choose Admin-led or Nurse-led Day-1 Absence Reporting?

Absence is a management issue, not a medical one. That is why similar organisations with similar work profiles can have very different absence levels. The difference is not that the employees in one company are more ill. The difference is that one company is managing absence better than the other one.

Any absence is a cost to the employer, regardless what the line of work or sick pay policies. And if absence is not measured, it can’t be managed. Therefore, it’s always recommended to start recording absence ideally before it becomes a problem. However, if you’re looking for a solution to turn around a culture of poor attendance, it is never too late to start.

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