How can an HR consultant help?

All companies experience employee absenteeism. That’s why it’s important to develop strong absence management policies that are fair to the company and their staff. Absence from work can usually fit into either of the following categories – planned or authorised absence (such as holidays etc.) or unplanned/unexpected.

 

Unplanned absences can cause major disruptions in the workplace. Usually, this comes down to a short term absence which an employer is unaware of until just before it happens.

It can be difficult for an employer to make cover arrangements on such short notice, leading to further problems. 

 

Lamont Jones can help and guide you through these situations, so you develop the best policies for your organisation.

Our Employee Absence Management & Monitoring Services

Lamont Jones can help and guide you through all employee absence issues, so you develop the best policies for your organisation.

We offer absence management software to help you keep track of staff absences across your company. There are also a variety of absence management programs available to employers. These programs can help employers to track employee absences, identify trends, and take action to improve employee productivity and reduce costs. 

Alongside absence management, we also provide a vast range of other HR services for UK businesses.

What Is A Sickness Absence Policy And Why Is It Important?

A sickness or absence policy should cover the different types of employee absences that can occur in your company.

Some important aspects to cover include the number of days an employee can be absent before facing disciplinary action, what types of absences are considered acceptable, and what documentation is required for an absence to be considered valid.

Additionally, the policy should explain how vacation days and sick days will be handled, as well as any other types of leave that may be available to employees.

By having a clear absence management policy in place, employers can help to ensure that their employees are aware of what is expected of them and can avoid potential problems down the road.

Lamont Jones can help and guide you through these situations, so you develop the best policies for your organisation.

What Should An Absence Policy Include?

A workplace absence policy should make it clear exactly what is expected if an employee is absent.
An absence management policy should include:

  • How employees can report absences including who to contact (i.e. line managers) and when the contact should be made.
  • At what point an employee will be required to provide a fit note?
  •  Details of the return to work process (i.e. return to work interviews).
  • Any points for review which have been stated by the employer.
  • Whether the employer uses an occupational health referral scheme or employee assistance programme and when this will be introduced
  • What pay will be received and how long for.
Our HR specialists can ensure a tailored approach for your company absence policy to streamline the process of managing absences in your workplace.
Contact us for help with employee absence management

Employee Absence UK FAQs

We’ve answered some of the most common questions about all things sick leave absence policies below. 

If you don’t see your query, please send us a message and our team will get back to you. 

You can also learn more about our work here at Lamont Jones by following us on LinkedIn or X (formally Twitter).

What To Do With An Employee Who Is Always Absent?

Having an effective system of managing employee absence is crucial when overseeing all types of absence in the workplace, particularly long term absence which is having a negative impact on the business. Lamont Jones absence management can help employers effectively manage employee absenteeism to reduce such issues.

What Is Classed As Sickness Absence? 

An employee’s absence is classed as a sickness absence when the reason given for the absence is due to sickness or ill health.

How Many Sick Days a Year Is Acceptable?

Employers have the casting vote over what constitutes ‘excessive’ sickness absences. The latest ONS statistics found the average employee takes 5.7 sick days off per year. Therefore, employers may want to consider this figure when judging the amount of time taken off. However, the number of expected sick days may vary depending on the industry, meaning a degree of flexibility is sometimes required. By consulting our HR experts here at Lamont Jones, we can provide a more tailored answer based on your business and industry.

How To Manage Employee Absence

Every business can benefit from having an effective absence management system in place. Not only will this ensure employee absence can be tracked, but that the root cause of any long term absence can be identified with any additional support put in place such as access to occupational therapists or reasonable adjustments. Where necessary, attendance management measures can be implemented such as a return to work interview or disciplinary actions.

What Are The Different Types Of Employee Absences?  

Employee absences span a wide variety of authorised and unauthorised absence types which may be short or long term. The reasons for employee absence can include annual leave, unpaid leave, physical illness, mental health, maternity leave, paternity leave, adoption leave, bereavement, appointments, jury duty, AWOL (absent without leave) and exceptional circumstances.

Can An Absent Employee Be Disciplined For Refusing To Allow You To Contact Their Doctor?

If an employee is absent and refuses to allow you to contact their doctor, they may be subject to disciplinary action. An employee must provide a fit note if they have been off sick for more than seven days, regardless of how many days they work each week. 

The fit note is a medical statement from the GP that verifies the validity of the employee’s absence and whether they are fit to work. If your employee refuses to provide a sick note, this can lead to a warning, suspension or even termination of employment.

Can I Dismiss An Employee For Unauthorised Absence?

Yes. An employee can be fired due to an unauthorised work absence. However, employers must ensure a fair dismissal, including arranging a meeting with the employee to arrange the reasoning behind the dismissal. Prior to a dismissal, verbal and written warnings can also be issued regarding the employee’s unauthorised absence. Therefore, if the issue persists, then employers may decide that dismissal is the most suitable option to protect the interests of the business.

Can An Employee Be Dismissed For An Authorised Short Term Absence?

In most cases, an employee can be dismissed for a short, unauthorised absence. However, there may be some exceptions depending on the company’s policies and the severity of the offence. For example, if an employee has a good attendance record, they may only receive a warning for a first offence. Alternatively, if an employee has long term absences or has been absent multiple times, they may be subject to more severe disciplinary action. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what course of action to take in each individual case.

Is Texting In Sick Acceptable?

There are a lot of different opinions out there about whether texting in sick is acceptable. Some people feel that it is perfectly fine, while others believe that it is rude and unprofessional. Communicate with your team and clearly outline how you would like them to report an absence in the future. That way, you can avoid any grey areas and keep on top of absence management.

How Do You Deal With An Absent Employee?

If an employee is absent, there are a few things you can do to manage the situation. First, try to determine the reason for the absence. If it is a personal issue, like mental health problems, see if there is anything you can do to help. If it is a work-related issue, see if there is anything you can do to resolve the issue. If you are unable to determine the reason for the absence, or if there is nothing you can do to help, then you will need to take disciplinary action. This may include a warning or even termination of employment.

How Do You Write An Employee Up For Excessive Absences? 

It is important to follow the correct procedures when dealing with absences in the workplace. The first stage would be to document the absences and include essential information relating to the nature and duration of the absences, along with the impact on the business in a report. Any applicable company policies should be referenced in the report, while providing the employee with an opportunity for improvement. The report should be discussed with the employee and any documentation will need to be signed by both parties.

How Long Can A Doctor Give A Sick Note For?

A doctor can give a sick note for as long as the illness or injury lasts. If the patient is still symptomatic after the initial period, the doctor may extend the sick note. In some cases, the doctor may recommend that the patient see a specialist for further evaluation and treatment.

How Much Is Statutory Sick Pay Per Day?

Statutory sick pay (SSP) is calculated by a weekly, rather than a daily rate. At the time of writing, SSP entitles workers that qualify for at least £109.40 per week for up to 28 weeks starting from the fourth day they are off sick. Employees may be entitled to more than the standard SSP if the company has a sick pay scheme. Different rules also apply for agricultural workers or employers.

How To Track Employee Absences

Employers should establish an absence policy which clearly defines the different types of employee absences (i.e. sick leave or annual leave). The policy should outline how time off should be requested, and give details on potential consequences for unauthorised absences. Both authorised and unauthorised absences can be monitored using attendance tracking software. Lamont Jones can offer your business absence management HR software to help you keep track of staff absence across your company. This will allow for trends to be identified so that cover can be arranged for planned absences, and also, unauthorised absences can be raised with your HR team. 

Lamont Jones – Managing Absence In The Workplace | Employee Absence Management UK 

Lamont Jones provides a vast range of HR services to UK-based businesses including employee absence management. 

Based in Cleckheaton, West Yorkshire, we provide absence management services for businesses across Bradford, Brighouse, Castleford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Harrogate, Huddersfield, Keighley, Leeds, Pontefract, Sheffield and York as well as the wider UK.

To find out more about managing absence levels in your business, give us a call on 01924 441032 or email us at info@lamontjones.co.uk