Sickness absence & Absence Without Leave issues
All business owners and managers know that employees not attending at work unexpectedly due to sickness is disruptive and costly to any business. Worse still is when the company begins to worry whether the reason given for the absence is genuine, or notices a pattern of absence (perhaps frequent Monday and / or Friday absences) and simply does not know if they can address this, and if they can, how to go about it.
With sickness absence you should at least receive a telephone call in line with your contract and policy (we’ll tell you how to get the best from that call) – but Absence With Out Leave (AWOL) presents different problems since you generally will receive no contact at all, effectively the employee is simply missing. We will guide the company through prompt and correct management of these situations.
We are experts at tricky situations and can help you to deal with a range of absence problems from frequent odd single days, through to longer term, more complex sickness, or other absence. If you prefer, we can deal with this on your behalf including drafting letters. We’ll ensure we deal with things correctly and are aware of any potential discrimination risks.
We can work collaboratively with other experts to provide the company with the facts needed to progress cases correctly. We advice on the good and useful steps that employers can take which are also considered good practice.
Sometimes absence is not due to the employee’s ill health, nor is it AWOL. We can advise when other kinds of absence begins to cause business problems too.
These are the kind of things we’ve dealt with:
- Employee’s sickness is a health issue that, after some time off sick, is classed as a disability.
- Employee refuses to give permission to obtain a medical report, and will not participate in a process.
- Employee claims they don’t need to tell you why they are off or when they might be back.
- Employee is absent without authorisation one day, arrives at work the next and claims they were sick the previous day.
- Employee is absent, has not made contact with the company, and is completely uncontactable.
How we can help
- We will work with you to understand the absence pattern and the reasons.
- We can advise you about some basic, quick & easy absence management actions you can take.
- We will take into account all legislation in managing issues.
- We can provide support such as Occupational Health assessments.
- If formal steps are necessary, we will ensure you take the right steps at the right time and are aware of current legislation.
- As a previous specialist in Employee Relations we have significant experience in this area.
Call us at the office on 0845 463 3231 for an informal discussion about how we can help your business.