Whether you are running a large corporation or a small business, having a proper channel for employee sickness management is important. Apart from annual leave entitlement, employees also need time off for several reasons varying from sickness to hospital appointments.
Managing employee absence due to sickness requires the implementation of effective people management policies in place. These policies must focus on the well-being of our entire workforce from top management to blue-collar staff.
In this article, you will find information on employee absenteeism, causes of absence, and ways to manage them effectively.
What an Absence Policy Must Cover?
An absence policy must clearly define what’s expected from both the employer and the employee in case the latter needs time off from work. The policy must define
- how to report sickness absence
- when and to whom to provide health note
- how the employer or HR can monitor the absence
- how much pay the employee is entitled to receive during sickness
- details if the person the employee should contact to inform absence
- what action can an employer take if someone needs sudden time off work
Sickness management does not apply only after the employee falls ill, in fact, any physical injury or mental illness that requires the employee to take some time off falls under sickness. However, employers can prevent sickness absence by dealing with the problems at the early stage, if they are workplace borne.
How to Manage Sickness Effectively?
Absence management doesn’t have to be complex. Your company’s HR software must enable employees to view and request sickness leave or log absences. The software must allow employees to upload supporting documents for smooth processing and management of sickness absences.
- Communicate with Employees
On the very first day of absence, the employee and the HR must communicate clearly about the situation. The sickness absence policy must include that the employee contacts the HR or their reporting managers on the first day to inform them about sickness.
- Monitor Every Absence
Monitoring employee absence and tracking communications is the key to successful sickness management. The employee must upload supporting documentation including medical evidence and fit notes to the company’s HR software.
- Request Health Certificate
For short-term absence, employees can self-certify their absence such as when they are out of the office for a period of seven days. No medical evidence is required. However, if the sickness absence exceeds this period, employees must provide a health certificate issued by a certified practitioner.
- Keep in Contact with Employees
The HR executive must keep in touch with the employee when they are off work for a long-time. This will allow you to stay informed; however, how frequently you contact your employee depends on the intensity of their sickness. So, keep that in mind.
- Provide Return-to-Work Support
After sickness absence, when an employee return to work, they must need some kind of support to resume their duties. HRs must pay extra attention to provide reasonable adjustments to the employees returning to work after illness or injury.
Absence management is a vast topic and requires an ongoing effort from regular communication to post-absence support. Having responsive HR software can help you manage absence sickness, holiday, and leave seamlessly from one single platform.