Seven ways to manage absenteeism in the workplace

28 Jun 2016

Our Industrial Relations and Employment Services Executive, Cheryl Treanor, disucsses the top seven ways to effectively manage absenteesim in the work place.

Needless to say, absenteeism in the workplace incurs costs on employers. Such costs are incurred for staff replacement, overtime, the effect on productivity and quality and the increased work pressure that is placed on colleagues.

Since 1 August 2015, workers now accrue annual leave while they are on certified sick leave. What did this change mean for employers? The cost incurred on employers comes into play, with regard to this provision, in relation to those workers who are on long term certified sick leave. Such workers will be entitled to full annual leave entitlements even where they have not worked the 1365 hours within the annual leave year.

Absence management and setting a culture of regular attendance is essential to ensure employers have control over absenteeism in the workplace. This can be done by following these seven steps below:

1. Having a clear and concise company Absence Policy in place that outlines the company rules with regard to absenteeism.

2. Keeping an accurate record of employee sick leave.

3. Ensuring workers are submitting regular and up to date medical certificates where appropriate.

4. Maintain regular contact with worker’s who are absent on certified sick leave. Such contact can be made through face to face meetings, over the phone or by letter.

5. Seeking an expected return to work date from absent workers. By managing expectations, an employer is able to make alternative arrangements to ensure that the work is covered and a worker does not feel under pressure to return to work before they have recovered.

6. Where appropriate, requesting a medical report from the worker’s doctor or sending the worker to an Occupational Health Specialist. Such a report will give an employer insight into the medical condition of their worker, get an indication as to when the worker will be fit to return to work, and enquire as to what the employer can do to facilitate the worker to assist them in returning to work.

7. Assessing if it is possible to facilitate the worker back to work through offering them an appropriate temporary alternative, such as, an alternative role, reduced hours, offering them light duties, etc.

Please contact the Federation on 014066000 if you require further information on the above or if you require a company Absence Policy. Or visit the Industrial Relations section of our website

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