Blue Monday falls in the third Monday in January – next week!

Our banks accounts are empty, we’ve already broken our new year resolutions, if we even started them and it’s dark. No wonder it’s the classed as the most gloomy day of the year and has been given the name Blue Monday.

On top of the never-ending cases of self-isolation and normal winter colds, the fact that winter time is when depression, anxiety and stress-related conditions are also at their highest, this is also one of the most likely days of the year to throw a sickie.

Samaritans have a much nicer idea for the day. Turn Blue Monday into Brew Monday and catch up over a cuppa.

Whether you are ‘in’ work or working from home this is still possible with your team.

Have a drop in either in person or over video, where you can sit with a cup of something hot and a piece of cake and have a chat. Find out how people are and how the first weeks back at work have been.

These things aren’t for everyone though so make it informal and voluntary, there’s nothing worse than forced fun.

Of course, you may have an employee genuinely unwell on Monday. We always recommend to our clients, no matter how big or small that they have a process for managing sickness.

  • A robust absence management policy is a must (speak to us if you don’t have one).
  • Clearly defined staff procedures for calling in sick, self-certification and the submission of GP ‘fit note’.
  • Awareness training for managers for understanding costs to the business, issues of long-term sickness, and disability implications.
  • A recording, monitoring and evaluating system making management of sickness so much simpler
  • Back to work interviews following EVERY period of absence.
  • A return to work plan to reintroduce employees after long term absence.
  • Clear procedures for dealing with non-genuine absence, with defined links to disciplinary procedures.
  • Clear procedures for dealing with long-term or repeated absences with defined links to capability procedures and with regard to disability discrimination issues.

Back to work interviews and the effective use of disciplinary procedures have the most significant impact in reducing short-term sickness absence. Particularly where it is suspected that the sickness may not be genuine.

Don’t let a blue Monday (or any other day of the week) disrupt your business. If you’re having problems with sickness absences and are unsure how to manage them let us know, we can help you.

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