Absence Management

What is it?

Absence from work which the employee attributes to sickness or injury and is accepted by the employer.

Why is it an important factor?

Direct Costs

  • The average direct cost of absence each year is around £434 per employee
  • The cost to the UK economy is £10-12bn annually
  • Short term sickness accounts for 80% of absences and 62% of lost time

Indirect Costs

  • Places excessive demands on the company sick pay scheme
  • Causes high overtime payments
  • Requires replacement labour and, or heavier workloads for those remaining
  • Causes low morale, dissatisfaction and poor productivity
  • Reduces the standard of service
  • Disrupts the flow of work.

How do we qualify sickness absence?

  • Uncertified leave
  • Self-certificated leave
  • Medical certificated leave.

In general terms the first two categories will be classified as short term and the latter long term.

What is the Occupational Health role?

This will vary depending on what your organisation needs, but may include:

  • Receipt of certificates
  • Compilation of statistics and identification of trends
  • Follow up any possible occupational causes and investigating whether other employees may be affected
  • Return to work medicals
  • Medical opinion 
  • Medical retirement
  • Welfare visits
  • Counselling
  • Advice to managers (remembering confidentiality issues and reasonable adjustments required under the Disability Discriminiation Act)
  • Training, induction, or workshops with HR for managers.

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