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Use an Absence Management Procedure and Save Costs To Your Business

Updated on December 8, 2010

For some years now I have managed employees and had to deal with the morning phone calls of staff calling in sick with coughs and colds. This is clearly not cost effective to any business and has an effect on the rest of the team. Employees being absent will lead to significant costs if not dealt with correctly, so ensure you put into practice an absence management procedure.

Not all staff will take time off because they "feel" like it and some will have genuine reasons for taking time off, so you need to provide support and stay in touch with employees who are off for long periods of time. On the other hand you will have to have a procedure ready and in place for anyone who takes advantage of the time off, you will need to take firm action and be consistent with it.

You will find that there are many different reasons for time off and you will have to be able to distinguish the difference and know what action to take for any unauthorised absence. Annual leave, maternity, paternity leave and compassionate leave are usually within the employees contract and these are authorised but, short term sick, long term and persistent lateness would be unauthorised and when the procedure needs to be monitored and put into place.

When monitoring an employee, you should explore whether there are any underlying issues and a clear policy should already be in place outlining the absence procedure and also disciplinary procedures if failure to comply with the policy. Check for patterns and trends with time off. Return to work interviews are also a good way to monitor absence and can be kept on the employees file for any future reference if needed and use your disciplinary procedure for employees who have an unacceptable amount of time off or don't follow the companies procedure.

When dealing with time off and absences in the work place the most vital part to monitoring this correctly and efficiently would be by ensuring that your managers are fully trained in this area, know the procedures and can identify any problems or issues. It is the line managers job to ensure the well being of their employees and keep in contact with any staff off for a long period of time, they need to be supportive but firm at the same time.

Just by sticking to these few simple tips and guidelines and by putting your monitoring and different procedures into place, will save your company or business money in the future and will see a happier, healthier work place.


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