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Struggling with employee absence?

Struggling with employee absence?

Are you experiencing problems with employees turning up for work?

Date: Tuesday 9th August 2016

Absence costs employers £550 every year with the total figure in the UK amounting to £10 - £12 billion annually.  In 2015 the number of days taken off for absence was 6.9 days per employee.

What are the common reasons behind absence?

The top causes of short term absence are minor illness (such as colds and flu) followed by musculoskeletal injuries and stress.

So how can short term absence be managed so that it reduces the impact on your business?

  • A ‘Fit Note’ is required for absences of over 7 calendar days
  • Self Certification to be completed on return to work
  • Employees should call to report absence
  • Document return to work interviews after every absence which should be carried out in a positive and supportive way
  • Ensure that work place assessments are carried out to safeguard against injury and stress that is work related

At the same time some employees feel that they have to turn up to work regardless of how they are feeling and this could impact their role.  This type of presenteeism has been linked to mental health problems by the Government’s Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project. The Work Foundation cites presenteeism as being more costly than sickness absence and therefore costs businesses more in the long run.

Flexible working practices can help to manage absence. Being able to take time off when employees are not at their best and then being able to return to work at 100% would benefit everyone.

We’ve created a short infographic on managing absence, take a look here:

If you’d like to know more about managing absence in your workplace and preventing a culture of presenteeism get in touch: or call us on 0207 977 9200.