Are you managing sickness absence?

A sickness absence policy sets out the rules and procedures for managing, recording, and reporting an employee’s absence from work, explaining exactly what’s expected from both the employer and employee.

As an absolute minimum, a sickness policy should include the following:

  • An explanation of the policy’s purpose and scope
  • How to report absences, who the employee should contact and when
  • When the employee needs proof of ill health, and how and when to self-certify
  • How much the employee will be paid and for how long
  • How and when the employer and employee should keep in touch

Under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974 all employers have a duty, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees at work. This includes the employee’s wellbeing, where the provision of a suitable and up-to-date sickness policy will go some way toward supporting staff if they need to take time off work due to ill health. The duty to ensure an employee’s wellbeing arises even if the employee’s illness or injury is not as a result of any accident or negligence at work.

Absence that is not managed effectively can result in:

  • recurring absences for any employee who has not been adequately supported either during a period of sick leave or on their return to work;
  • a demotivated and demoralised workforce
  • a higher staff turnover rate, with the loss of valuable members of staff to long-term sick leave or due to staff feeling unsupported
  • exposure to legal proceedings for breach of the employer’s duty to ensure the health, safety and welfare of its’ employees, including their emotional wellbeing

Please join us for an informative workshop on Absence Management where we look at the issue of sickness absence and how policies and documentation should be used to help manage risks and promote positive working environments.

Managing Absence – Glasgow | 121HR Solutions – Glasgow


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