Business owners throughout the UK value the contribution of their employees in the delivery of quality services and products to their customers. 
Whilst recognising employees may be prevented from attending work through ill health, businesses have a duty to provide a safe place of work, to ensure staff remain fit for work to maintain service and product delivery and minimise disruption. It is therefore important to commit to managing attendance and for managers and employees to take responsibility to work together to promote the management of sickness absence. We have therefore put together a number of points to help businesses. To achieve the desired level of attendance employers may adopt the following: 
• Promote the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees, including the use of risk assessments to identify and manage hazards impacting on health in the workplace. 
• Monitor levels of sickness absence for individuals, teams and the business as a whole. 
• Implement procedures to support and manage employee absences, whilst dealing with unjustified and/or high levels of sickness absence. 
• Value good attendance by taking the opportunity to acknowledge and recognise such attendance. 
• Matters raised relating to an employee’s attendance should not imply any distrust of employee. 
• Sickness absence should be dealt with in a way that is non-discriminatory, in accordance with Equality and Health and Safety regulations. 
• Employees should be dealt with consistently and the sickness absence procedures will be applied fairly. 
• Businesses should aim to promote a positive and preventative rather than punitive approach to managing absence 
• Individual ill health cases should be handled sensitively and in a supportive manner 
• Sickness absence cases should be conducted with respect for confidentiality and in accordance with the requirements of GDPR and Access to Medical Reports Acts. 
• Businesses should aim to distinguish between absence due to sickness and the abuse of the absence system or sick pay scheme. 
Proactive and practical application of this approach may include: 
• Keep in regular contact with your employees throughout any period of absence 
• Undertake back to work meetings after every period of absence to ensure that any issues that may be present in the workplace can be resolved or to provide support (produce and implement plans to improve attendance) 
• Ensure that all employees complete self-certification forms and provide “Fit” notes 
• Refer employees to Occupational Health in a timely manner, when required 
• Provide advice to managers on how to effectively manage absence 
• Be flexible in helping employees back to work through adjusting working hours, work environments or tasks or providing equipment 
• Proactively promote health and wellbeing through communications and in consultation with employees 
• Where possible, provide an Employee Assistance programme, Cash Health plans, Counselling or Medical insurance 
• Deal with any misuse of the procedures promptly through the Disciplinary procedure. 
All our blogs are written by our expert consultants. If you need any further information on managing employee absence or for any HR or Health and Safety advice please contact us by filling in the form below, telephone 0330 088 4352 or email  
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