Absence/attendance management

Noelle MurphyEditor's message: As well as resulting in increased salary, overtime and temporary cover costs, employee absence can have a negative impact on productivity, customer-service levels and staff motivation. While most employees will naturally be off sick at some stage, if your organisation is to remain productive and competitive, it needs to proactively manage its absence rates.

To do this it requires an effective absence management policy and procedure. The cornerstone of this will be the accurate recording and measurement of absence, with triggers set to initiate absence management action when an employee's absence reaches the defined level.

Key too is ensuring that line managers hold a return-to-work interview after each incidence of sickness absence. Not only can this provide an opportunity to check on the employee's wellbeing and potentially uncover any underlying reasons behind the absence, but it can also discourage casual absence.

Noelle Murphy, senior HR practice editor

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