Staff sickness absences in your workplace can be a real headache to manage, are you aware of the costs to your business of not doing so?

The CIPD Health and Wellbeing At Work Survey 2019 reports that 5.9% of working days were lost per employee per year due to staff sickness, that equates to an estimated cost of £554 per employee per year.

These costs include the obvious such as sick pay and additional wages for staff cover, but they also include risks of lower efficiency amongst staff covering unfamiliar jobs, decreased morale and energy, and both management and administration time in recording and managing absence.

Three quarters of sickness is due to short term absence and whilst we don’t want to encourage presentism in the workplace, many businesses could do more to manage sickness absence effectively and thereby reduce their costs.

Our best practice recommendations for managing sickness absence are:

  • A robust absence management policy
  • Clearly defined staff procedures for calling in sick, self-certification and the submission of GP Fitness to Work Certificates (Fit Notes)
  • Awareness training for managers for understanding costs to the business, issues of long term sickness, and disability implications
  • A vigorous recording and monitoring system
  • Health assessments for employees as appropriate to your industry
  • Back to work interviews following EVERY period of absence
  • A procedure of maintaining communication with employees on long term sickness 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 are cited by the CIPD as having the most significant impact.

We can provide you will all the documents you need to manage staff sickess and other absence processes in your business and partner with BreatheHR if you are looking for an online system to record and manage all your staff absences.

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