managing sickness absence

How do I manage sickness absence?

Managing sickness absence can be difficult as it is typically an emotive topic. After all everyone gets sick sometimes don’t they? Is it therefore right that people should be punished for something that everyone is impacted by? This is where a consistent and well publicised policy is critical. The messaging in that policy should read that you aren’t punishing people for their individual absence but it is something that needs addressing. Because we’ve supported many of these cases, we can help you!

How do I manage absence. Statutory Sick Pay. SSP.

Why should I manage sickness absence?

Sickness absence needs managing for two main reasons.

  1. All organisations employ people to fulfil meaningful roles. No organisation can afford for employees to be off for a long period of time. Therefore it is important to have a policy and to stick to it. Persistent and intermittent absence can also be really disruptive as it is difficult to cover odd days. 
  2. Absence is felt by the rest of the team as if other team members are constantly having to cover for a colleagues work, their work suffers and also they risk becoming stressed. Dedicated employees can feel that they are being taken advantage of if absence isn’t being seen to be managed effectively. 

The key to establishing a process is to ensure that this messaging is prominent on the policy and all communications that you make about it. It’s also key to state that you will do everything that you can reasonably be expected to do to support an employee to remain in work. Reasonableness is the key test here; how many resources do you have and what could an organisation of your size easily do to support an employee? The larger the organisation, the greater expectations that will be placed upon them.

How do I consistently manage sickness absence?

The first task is to establish a clear policy that you will then implement. Some organisations achieve this by choosing trigger points (number of absences in a 12 month period or number of days). Others use tried and trusted methods such as the Bradford Factor. Once these triggers or points are reached, then a formal attendance meeting takes place. Because you’ve set the expectations up front, this helps you to be consistent in your approach. However, you may need to make allowances where pregnancy or disability are a contributing factor.

How can we help you manage your sickness absence issues?

At Cornerstone Resources, we have HR professionals who have supported managers with complex sickness absence cases on many occasions. Because we have sat in the room, we know what it feels like to have to implement these policies. We can provide varying levels of support depending on your needs. We can:

  • Design policies and templates to ensure that employees understand what they should do if they have a concern.
  • Implement an HR system that helps you keep track of absence..
  • Provide guidance before, during and after the formal sickness absence meetings.
  • Help you determine what is a reasonable adjustment (in conjunction with medical professionals or Occupational Health). 

Who are Cornerstone Resources?

Based in South Manchester, Cornerstone Resources offer a complete HR service to businesses, charities and churches. With over 40 years combined experience in HR, we can offer you an enviable combination of professional expertise and a service based on integrity and honesty. Best of all, we can save you time and money. 

For more information on our offering, including cost effective Outsourced HR support, click here. For a no obligation quote, call Rob today on 07494 161169 or Nicci on 07908 875146. Alternatively, please click the below button to email us and we will come back to you.

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We will always complete our work to the best of our ability even if it costs us to do so.


We will be open and honest with you and will challenge a proposed course of action when we don’t believe it to be the best solution.

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We will look to not just meet your immediate needs but to add long term value to your organisation.

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