Whilst we are still having the odd short spell of sunshine, the winter weather is clearly on its way and with it comes illness, colds, flu and an increased desire to stay in bed rather than brave the cold. With a potential increase of absence in the colder months from employees succumbing to both sickness and getting-out-of-bed-phobia, it’s important that as an employer you have a clear absence management strategy in place to help manage and minimise absence within your organisation.
As an employer, the first step you may want to take is to review policies and contracts to ensure that employees are well aware of your company’s requirements when it comes to notification of sickness and absence.
Employees should know what the procedure is for calling in sick ahead of their shift, not leaving it to a manager to have to call to see where they are. Employees should also be made aware that a return to work meeting is to be completed upon their return, where the employee will need to explain and provide a reason for their absence.
In any instances of sickness over seven days, employees need to know that a statement of fitness for work will be required upon return.
You may want to communicate with your team that persistent and frequent absence can lead to a disciplinary. With this being the case, it is of vital importance that you make employees aware of what is deemed acceptable and unacceptable in terms of absence from work.
To escalate a sickness instance, the proper procedure should be taken, you should also ensure that employees are given an opportunity to approve their attendance rather than just have a disciplinary sprung on them. Warnings should be issued to ensure employees are aware of any future consequences.
However, in cases of getting-out-of-bed-aphobia, you may accept as a business that sometimes you need a duvet day and allow employees to have an extra day’s holiday where no prior notice has to be given. Employees can simply phone in on the day and notify their employer that they are taking their duvet day. If you do this, we would recommend some clear procedures be put in place for this, to ensure you don’t have a sudden decline in employees for a day. It should be stipulated formally within the contract of employment or handbook.
If you would like any support in putting together an absence policy, please get in touch with a member of the HPC team today.
T: 0844 800 5932
Follow us on twitter for HR news and updates @HPC_HRservices