So how was the Christmas Party?! Everyone turn up for work the next day? We’d guess most did show up – maybe late with sore heads, sorry faces, a distinct lack of work being done?!

It is a brazen employee who chucks a sicky after the work Christmas Do but whilst the highest sickness absences are recorded at the start of February (National Sicky Day is the first Monday in February!) it isn’t uncommon for companies to experience high levels of sickness absence at this time of year too.

Of course the majority of sickness absence will be genuine, but how do you manage the less than plausible sick days?

Do you have a sickness absence policy? This is the first port of call – do you set out the expectations for acceptable absence and the consequences of not following the policy? Do you insist people call in personally – we’d advise not accepting text messages or people having someone else call in for them. Do you ask people to complete a Self Certificate to return to work and do you then record and monitor absences – we’d advise you do both of these so that you have a clear picture of the absence levels in the business and for each employee. Do you carry out a back to work interview – this has been successful in significantly reducing non-genuine sickness absence.

In short – ensure your staff know you are taking absence seriously and taking action as appropriate.

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