The XpertHR conference on Managing absence, sickness and stress will give you the legal and practical knowledge that you need to reduce absence rates and bring employees on sick leave back into productive work.
To help you get the most out of the conference, we highlight just some of the material on this subject available on XpertHR – including legal guidance, line manager briefings, frequently asked questions, and practical guidance in the form of both "how to" guides and good practice guides.
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Practical guidance from the XpertHR "how to" service
How to deal with employees on long-term sickness absence Guidance on how this type of situation can be dealt with effectively and when a subsequent dismissal on these grounds might be fair and not discriminatory.
How to manage cover for long-term sickness absence Guidance on managing cover for long-term sickness absence.
How to deal with an employee with a poor sickness absence record Guidance on dealing with an employee with a poor sickness absence record including advice on: the necessary legal considerations; investigating the medical position; and consulting with the employee.
How to deal with sickness that occurs during or just before a period of holiday The XpertHR "how to" service explains how to deal effectively with sickness that occurs during or just before a period of holiday taking into account recent decisions by the European Court of Justice.
How to deal with an employee who goes off sick during a disciplinary process The XpertHR "how to" service outlines the issues that need to be considered when dealing with an employee who goes off sick during a disciplinary process.
How to obtain and use medical reports on employees Practical guidance for employers when obtaining a medical report on an employee, including an explanation of the employer's legal obligations.
How to prevent claims of workplace stress Guidance on practical steps that employers can take to prevent personal injury and disability discrimination claims arising from workplace stress.
Practical guidance from the XpertHR good practice section
Attendance management The XpertHR good practice section includes a guide on attendance management which covers, among other things, measuring absence, attendance review meetings, warnings for unsatisfactory attendance levels, data protection and return-to-work interviews.
Sickness absence management The XpertHR good practice section also includes a guide on sickness absence management, which includes guidance on workplace measures to prevent ill health and promote wellbeing, using occupational doctors, employee assistance programmes, fit notes and rehabilitation after a period of sickness absence.
Frequently asked questions
The XpertHR FAQs section provides answers to commonly asked questions on a wide range of topics.
Questions on absence and sickness include:
- Why is it important for employers to take steps to manage sickness absence in a proactive way?
- How can employers reduce sickness absence levels?
- How should employers manage short-term sickness absence on a day-to-day basis?
- Will invoking the company disciplinary procedure be the best means of dealing with all instances of absence and poor performance?
- Where an employer wishes to reward employees for low sickness absence, what factors must it take into account?
- How will fit notes change the way in which employers deal with long-term sickness?
- Is it acceptable for a line manager to maintain contact with an employee during a period of long-term sickness absence?
- Are there any steps that a line manager should take when an employee returns to work after a period of long-term sickness absence?
- When is it permissible for an employer to terminate the contract of an employee on the grounds of ill health?
- Where an employee who has exhausted all entitlement to sick pay is to be dismissed on grounds of ill health will he or she be entitled to any payment throughout his or her notice period?
- Are there any risks attached to asking job candidates about the number of days' sickness absence they have had in the past year?
- Where an employee has asked for a phased return from long-term sickness absence, can the employer decrease his or her pay to reflect the reduced hours being worked?
- How should an employer deal with an employee who calls in sick on a bank holiday?
- How can employers reduce the incidence of employees taking time off work on account of stress?
- How do the stress management standards help to manage work-related stress?
- What are the six key aspects of work identified in the stress management standards as reducing work-related stress if properly managed?
Questions on stress include:
We are always interested to hear your feedback on our resources, and welcome suggestions for further articles that could be added to XpertHR. If there's a question that you would like to see answered on the site, use the Suggest tab in the FAQs section to submit your idea.
Legal guidance on absence, sickness and stress
Work-related stress: overview Elizabeth Stevens of Steeles (Law) LLP looks at why employers need to be alert to the signs of work-related stress.
Fit notes: clean bill of health? Long-term sickness absence is one of the most complex and expensive issues facing HR professionals in the UK. Daniel Thomas asks if the new fit-note system will help cure the UK’s sickness absence problem.
Work-related stress: supporting employees Elizabeth Stevens of Steeles (Law) LLP looks at ways in which employers can support employees who may be suffering from work-related stress.
Short-term sickness absence: overview Sue Nickson, partner and chief operating officer, Hammonds, looks at the measures employers need to take to deal with employees suffering from stress.
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Line manager briefings
The XpertHR line manager briefing section includes a Line manager briefing on short-term sickness absence and a further briefing on long-term sickness absence. They cover: reviewing absences, obtaining medical evidence, keeping in touch with the absent employee, avoiding disability discrimination, managing the employee's return to work and dismissal on the grounds of ill health.
More absence, sickness and stress articles on XpertHR
Run these saved searches for further articles on XpertHR relating to aspects of absence, sickness and stress addressed by the XpertHR conference:
Long-term sickness absence