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Absence in the workplace - Employer

Absence in the workplace - Employer

It’s inevitable that people are going to be off sick from time to time at work. If you’re in a respected workplace, most employees will feel bad about letting their colleagues down.

Staff absence can put your business in a tricky situation, particularly if you have no policies in place for dealing with it; also as in some cases sickness absence may not be genuine. If you do have your suspicions about a certain employee, you as an employer should consider what further investigations are to be undertaken and whether disciplinary action should be pursued.

If action becomes necessary, you should investigate any reasons for the employee's poor attendance. If there is a medical cause then it may be necessary to obtain a medical report. . It will also be necessary to consider any implications relating to disability discrimination.

For example, you might require employees to phone in sick rather than taking the easier approach of sending an email or text. You might also ask to speak to them on their return and require completion of a self-certification form explaining the reason for their absence. For absence of duration, it will be necessary to submit a valid medical note from their doctor.

Monitoring patterns of sickness absence can help you to detect problems. For example, high levels of sick leave on a Friday or Monday might raise suspicions.

Sickness policies can help to reduce absence by outlining the procedure which must be followed and, discouraging employees from taking 'sick' days as a form of extra holiday, but in all cases consider any adjustments to the employee's job or work environment which might reduce the level of sickness absence.

Sick pay

If an employee’s contract does not allow them to be paid whilst off sick then they are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay from the 4th day of sickness absence for up to 28 weeks. If the employee is still off because they are sick, they need to claim Incapacity Benefit.

If you have any questions or would like to know more about our services please give us a call 01159 985245.