Ever thought about how many days your staff are absent from your business through illness every year? You might think it’s only a couple for most of your staff, but actually the average figure, per staff member, is 6.9 days.
These seven days absence a year, per employee, needs careful management. It also doesn’t include other types of leave – annual leave, maternity or paternity leave and special leave. Does your business have plans in place to deal with all these different types of absence? How much is it costing your business? And what about unauthorised leave? Perhaps you have a member of staff that appears to be unwell for a lot longer than average? Learning how to deal with absence management is an essential part of HR, as these days off through absence actually costs UK businesses up to £116 billion each year.
How do you manage your staff absence?
Every employee will be unwell occasionally. Most of the time, these are genuine, unavoidable occurrences. However, you need to have a plan in place to manage them. You need to know why your staff are off, whether it is short-term or long-term, and if this is a regular pattern. Some short-term absences are repeated over the long term, whether this is an illness or injury, or perhaps stress or a mental health issue. The more you know about it, the more you can plan ahead and cover any absences with your existing team, or by finding temporary cover externally.
These can usually be dealt with internally. One or two days without an employee means that their workload can wait for their return, with more pressing matters being handled by a member of your team.
If these episodes of short-term absences being to be repeated, or you can see a pattern, it may be worth discussing this with your employee to find out if there are any underlying reasons and if you can provide any support to help them overcome this.
If you know that the period of absence will be long-term, you may want to consider hiring a temporary worker. Long-term absences may also require supporting the employee as they return to work. This may include occupational health, communication with their GP or the Fit to Work Scheme.
If you are faced with unauthorised or unexplained absences from a member of staff these will have to be managed. A disciplinary/dismissal case may have raised with the employee.
To find out more about managing staff absence, contact HR That Helps today.