Expert Corner

How to deal with employee sickness

🌟 Have you an absence procedure in place?
🌟 What should you do if a member of your team is sick?
🌟 Are you able to detect an employee health issue before it becomes more severe?
🌟 What is the real cost of absence in your business?
🌟 What reasonable adjustments should you consider?

In this video interview with Louise McGeady, Founder & Principal Consultant of Opal People Solutions, we discuss the work of her HR consultancy in Northern Ireland, the benefit of having an Absence Management Policy, the difference between how you should manage short-term and long-term absence, how policies can help structure difficult conversations, the importance of having Return to Work Interviews and much more.

Absence Management is concerned with reducing short-term, sporadic absenteeism and encouraging attendance at work, as well as managing long-term absence cases.

Louise begins by stating; β€œIt is important that you manage absence and that you manage it in a fair and consistent way. What I would recommend for both short and long term absence is that you have an absence management policy; detailing the differences between the two processes and how you’re going to deal with it. With short term absence I would recommend that you define the triggers points, so what level of absence that you feel is acceptable in your organisation. Somewhere between 3 to 4 absences in a 12 month period usually triggers some form of action. You should always have procedures in place for how you report the absence and it is really good practice to carry out return to work interviews.”

Throughout this video Louise highlights the significance of the most non-recoverable losses for any company are time and resources lost due to short and long-term sickness or absence. Employers who take a proactive approach to absence management will be able to monitor the costs of absence/sickness and identify employee health problems before they escalate.

In this video Louise discusses:

βœ… The need for robust Absence Management Policies
βœ… The importance of documentation and absence templates
βœ… Occupational Health Assessments and other early intervention measures
βœ… Formal capability meetings
βœ… How to manage long-term and short-term absence

Opal People Solutions can offer the following services to relation to sickness/absence management: drafting absence policies and procedures, advising employers on how to manage both short-term and long-term absence, helping with early-stage informal absence management, recommending and organising early intervention measures, supporting managers with absence related meetings, promoting wellness in the workplace, and providing managers with absence/sickness management training.

Opal People Solutions –​​

Jennifer McWilliams
Written By
Louise McGeady
Opal People Solutions

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