Absence Management Lawyers

It is part of life that people are going to need time off due to illness, or they have factors in their lives that affect their performance at work. However, managing absence in a pro-active way can help improve the performance and well-being of employees, and therefore can have a positive impact on employers’ businesses. 

Policies and Procedures for Absences, Patterns of Absence or Unauthorised Absences

Absence can be very costly and damaging to business, it costs the UK economy £17 billion a year. Furthermore it can result in falling behind schedule, customer service complaints, employees being overworked and damage to the company reputation.

The primary issue for absence management is ensuring that employees are aware how they contribute to their team and to the aspirations of the business as a whole.

Employers should then aim to establish clear absence policies and a system

for monitoring and managing absence. These include knowing how your business will cope and deal with:

  • Short-term sickness absences
  • A pattern of absence or repeated short-term sickness absences by an employee
  • A long-term sickness absence which may last several weeks or more
  • Unauthorised absences for reasons apart from sickness

Employers should monitor and record absences for each employee so that they can identify any patterns which may emerge.
Transparent rules for employees will help manage sickness and unauthorised absence. These should include:

  • how employees communicate that they are sick
  • an explanation of ‘return to work’ interviews
  • any absence behavior which will trigger disciplinary action

Employees should have regular reviews in light of these policies so that any problems can be identified and rectified early on by agreement between employee and employer.

Absence can lead to other legal issues. For example, if patterns of short term absence emerge, it may be appropriate to take action under the disciplinary policy.  Similarly, if an employee is off on long term sick with little or no prospect of returning, the employer may need to take steps on how to terminate the employment relationship. 

 If however the employee is able to return to work but is considered disabled under the Equality Act, the employer will be required to consider what reasonable adjustments it should make.   

Contact Us – Employment Law Advice Regarding Performance and Absence Management

“He is very helpful and supportive as a person and highly efficient in his delivery of the agreed plan of action.”
Chris Whyte Accountant Collier Quarrying and Recycling Ltd

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We advise clients in Fife, Lothian, Tayside and across Central Scotland. If you are looking for clear, practical help on Performance and Absence Management from a real expert, give Ben a call today on 01383 27 2000 or fill out our online enquiry form – arrange your initial discussion regarding performance and absence management or about any employment issue today.