Employee Absence

Support for managing Employee Absence from HR experts

Now you see them, now you don’t… still don’t… still don’t…

Managing employee absence can be one of the trickiest situations to deal with. You want to show compassion and understanding but you have a business to run.

There are lots of factors that need to be considered:

  • How do you handle employees on long-term absence?
  • How should you deal with situations when you feel the employee absence isn’t genuine?
  • What about lots of odd days of sickness?
  • Sickness when people were on holiday?

There are also different types of absence: how, for instance, do you deal with employee absence caused by train delays or bad weather?

It can be very tempting to ignore the problem and hope it resolves itself (and often a ‘wait and see’ strategy is the right one). However, you can reach a point when you know something needs to be done.

But how?

Employee Absence - Support Options - Lighter HR

Support Options for Employee Absence

Guidance on the Essentials

You’ll have guidance on the right process steps to help you manage the employee absence, be provided with all the documentation you need, and will have support by phone and email for peace of mind.

Full Support

We take care of everything, including gathering information, speaking with the employee, and documenting next steps; we’ll update you regularly so you can just focus on running your business.

Key Service Features
for Managing Employee Absence

Support from an assigned CIPD qualified HR consultant with at least 10 years’ experience who has dealt with all types of employee absence issues.

A clear action plan to help you take control of the employee absence situation, so you feel confident in your approach.

Support in preparing for conversations that can be emotive and difficult, and where there is risk of you unintentionally saying the wrong thing.

Focusing on the facts, we always use a pragmatic approach to employee absence situations, to achieve the appropriate outcome for you with minimal risk.

See our Employee Absence FAQ for more details

What our clients say…
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Employee Absence FAQ

I don’t even know where to start with this employee absence issue…

Employee absence can be one of the most difficult situations to manage:

. You want to be a caring and compassionate employer, but you do have a business to run.
. You’ve no idea what you are and aren’t allowed to ask but you’re getting increasingly frustrated with the situation.
. You’re concerned that if you do start to ask questions you may hear something that you’ve no idea how to respond to.

Don’t worry, we can help you.

We’ve got lots of experience in managing employee absence. We know the right steps to follow to ensure that you comply with all relevant legislation and we know how to have sensitive conversations.

My employee has a condition that counts as a disability, that means I can’t do anything about their absence doesn’t it?

You’re right to be cautious and you will need to make additional allowances, however, you can absolutely manage absence of an employee with a disability.

When it comes to disability, the legislation confirms that you need to make “reasonable adjustments” to allow the individual to undertake work for your organisation.

Yes, it is possible that you’ll need to allow an individual with a condition that is classed as a disability to have absence above that which is acceptable to your business as a whole. However, you don’t need to accept that an individual never comes to work.

What is vital is that you engage with the employee, work with them to understand their condition and see what you can do in order to support them in the work place and ensure that they are able to attend on a regular basis.

There’s no generic answer to this question so we’ll work with you and the employee to really understand the situation and then, together, create a plan and see it through.

I’m worried I’ve not acted ‘by the book’…

It could be that:

. you’ve allowed the situation to drag on for many years and you don’t now know what you’re able to do about it.
. you’ve said something that has created an emotional reaction in the employee and they are threatening all sorts of things.
. you’ve not kept strong records and, whilst you know the individual takes a lot of time off, you really don’t know why or have firm data on which you can rely.

Whatever has happened to date, just be honest with us, and we’ll work with you to come up with an appropriate course of action.

Is managing this employee absence issue going to take up a lot of my time?

When it comes to managing employee absence we can provide you with a lot of support and do a lot of the work for you.

We can speak directly with the employee on your behalf; We’ve been trained to do this sort of thing and have these types of difficult conversation; If it’s not something that you’re comfortable doing, then it’s definitely something we can do for you.

We can make arrangements for Occupational Health assessments when that’s the right thing to do and we can request GP reports.

We’ll keep you updated every step of the way and won’t do anything without your consent, but this is an area where we can free up a lot of your time.

What is the risk of managing an employee absence issue without professional help?

Seeking guidance on absence is generally advisable since there are notable employment laws that touch on this area. Disability, pregnancy and holidays, for instance, all have special rules associated with them and it’s important to make sure you get it right the first time.

Employee absence can also be very frustrating both for you as an employer and for the colleagues of the person who is absent, which usually makes it a very emotive subject that requires sensitive handling.

Our HR consultants are highly trained to deal with these situations and have the first-hand experience and the expertise to help you make the most appropriate decisions.

What process will you go through to help me deal with the employee absence issue?

The first thing we’ll do is talk through the situation with you to understand the problem that you’re trying to address. There are some key considerations when dealing with employee absence, particularly when the absence is related to a disability or pregnancy, that influence what you can and cannot do.

Next, we’ll help you to come up with a plan to move you forward. We’ll be there every step of the way to help you to prepare for difficult conversations (or carry them out for you, if preferred). We’ll also make sure you have all the necessary documentation in place.

Additionally, we can review your absence policy to ensure you’re in the best possible position to manage any future problem absences.

If you have further questions, call us on 0203 319 1649 and we can go through the options available to you.