Some companies are still experiencing a high absence rate due to mental health reasons.

If this is not managed correctly, it can put colleagues and the service you provide under strain, as well as hit your bottom line because that employee is not contributing to the overall company plan, but there could be litigation looming.

This information explains the legal background around sickness absence, what support you can give to staff, and the procedures you can follow.

It is vital that you follow your own internal procedures for reporting and recording sick notes without exception.

Doctors’ notes should not just be filed away; what is written on them must be understood first.

There have been countless occasions where a company views a doctor’s note as just a payroll matter and fails to understand what is written on the sick note. If a doctor’s note says ‘work-related stress’, you must get in touch with HR. Often, it is a mixture of private things and work that adds to an employee’s mental state.

Often, such matters can be nipped in the bud, and an employee returns to the workplace, providing a fully functioning role, sometimes with support and possibly some adjustments. One of the actions you should undertake is a welfare meeting as part of the return-to-work interview.

If your managers have not been trained on how to address the sensitive and tricky issue of mental health or have not progressed with a wellness support package before, please get in touch for guidance.