The Top 5 Tips for Managing Frequent Short Term Employee Absences from Work:

For many busy managers working around employee short term absences can be one of their biggest challenges. There’s also a cost associated with this.

In 2015 the Small Firms Association (SFA) published its Absenteeism Report following their study conducted in Ireland in 2014 across all sectors of Irish business.

The report shows the direct cost to small business with sick pay schemes is over €490 million. When you include additional direct costs, such as replacing staff, paying overtime and medical referrals, and indirect costs – such as loss of productivity – and the time spent managing absence, the overall cost is estimated to be close to €1 billion.

Whether you have a sick pay scheme or not, most small companies are working hard to maintain competitiveness. If you want to keep absence costs to a minimum, here are my Top 5 Tips for Managing Frequent Short Term absences.

Absence Management Policy: Have a well-considered and detailed Policy. Make sure the Policy is communicated to all employees and each employee signs to acknowledge they have read and understood the policy and agree to comply with it. This gives you a solid foundation.

Record Keeping: Accurately record and track all absences. If you don’t have a fancy HR system this can be done with a simple excel template. One of the cornerstones of absence management is accurate record keeping.

Notification and Evidence of Incapacity: Have a notification procedure where employees must telephone within 1 hour of their start time (and sooner if possible) on the first day of the absence. Employees who are absent for 3 consecutive days or more due to illness or injury should submit a medical certificate.

Returning to Work: When an employee returns from any period of absence (including absence covered by a medical certificate) they should complete and sign off on a return to work form, sign it and review it with their manager.

Reviews: Review absences with employees regularly, ideally as part of your performance management system, and if there is a potential problem emerging, its good practice to let the employee know what they can expect to happen should such a pattern continue; and if necessary follow up.

So these are my Top 5 Tips to manage frequent, short-term, employee absences. Following these simple steps can have a significant impact on reducing absenteeism in the workplace.

This is the first post in a 6 part series of posts on Managing Frequent, Short Term Employee Absence. We’ll follow on with more detail in our blog over the coming weeks. If you are interested in receiving further information on these tips, please subscribe and you will be the first to receive all posts straight to your in your inbox

Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information and material contained in this checklist, Jan Harte & Associates does not accept any liability whatsoever arising from any errors or omissions. This checklist is not a substitute for professional advice and should not be viewed as such.

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