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.
If you subscribe to Honeydew’s Day-1 absence reporting service, Engage can send SMS reminders to absentees whose expected return date was today. These reminders are sent if the absence record has accidentally been left open. Now we’ve also added a further feature to the SMS reminders that will remind tomorrow’s returning employees to confirm their return. The message goes out the day before the planned return. If you are coming back to work as planned, you can simply reply with the word CLOSE to confirm their return. If you are still absent, you’re asked to call the absence line to update their record. 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
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
You might think, as many do, that Return to Work (RTW) interviews are only necessary when an employee has been off work due to a serious illness or injury or for a long time. In fact, the opposite is true. Continue reading
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% fit to return. “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
Bed rest was first advised as treatment for back problems in the 1720’s and it has been gradually questioned ever since. Whilst it should not be ruled out completely – some back problems, such as sciatica do require a temporary limiting of mobility – it should be restricted to 2 days at the most. Continue reading
Early intervention has always been our mantra. The sooner an absence is reviewed and the appropriate action taken to put a plan in place for a return to work, the better the outcomes. Short of spotting any warning signs for problem before it escalates to an absence, there’s no better time for early intervention than the first day of absence. We’ve shared some scary stats in the past that should give us enough reason not to be idle while an absence gradually becomes long term, but if you were wondering how to achieve this in practice, Day-1 OH could be the solution you’ve been looking for. Continue reading