Absence management is about introducing HR policies and practices which reduce absenteeism levels. For HR policies and practices on absence management to be effective, they need to be understood and clearly communicated to both employees and managers with HR effectively providing the process and procedures to ensure consistency in approach. In excess of 130 million days are lost each year to sickness absence in the UK. Likewise over 15 million days are lost due to mental health issues including stress, anxiety and depression.
Any absence is a cost to the business both directly in monetary terms and indirectly by disruption and negativity from colleagues left covering the extra work. As a result, fit and healthy employees become demoralised when they see persistent absenteeism offenders not dealt with in a business.
Managing absence requires fairness in approach and must also factor in the potential issues that can influence the course of action – specifically discrimination and disability.
AB HR Solutions can support businesses with all aspects of managing absence including:
- Measuring absence including Bradford Factor implementation.
- Developing employee assistance programmes.
- Development of process, guidelines and procedures.
- Long term ill health case management including work-related stress.
- Facilitation of medical reports, OH assessments, counselling and functional capacity assessments.
- Providing telephone helpline support and step by step approach.
- Briefing notes, template letter writing.
- Managing absence skills training for managers.
- Coordinating phased returns to work after long term absence.
Each business will set its own criteria for absence and the absence policy should communicate this throughout the business. AB HR Solutions can help businesses provide fair and consistent HR policies and HR procedures to help managers deal with absence and let employees know how it will be measured. There should also be provisions made in these procedures to help support employees in reducing absence through return to work plans and flexible working. AB HR Solutions can assist in making sure that these are clear, fair and concise.