Supposedly, today is National Sickie Day , whereby the highest number of people took a day off sick. Let’s face it, no one likes February but it’s a quite annoying when your colleagues go sick just because they don’t feel like it, when quite frankly you don’t feel like work either but you’re not so rude as to just call in sick!
Whilst it may feel like a pain to deal with sickness absence, as a business it’s important you keep a watchful eye on sickness absence, not just for the business but also for the colleagues who bear the brunt of another’s absence and the individual who may have more serious issues. The odd day here and there may not seem like a big deal, but when you look at the broader picture of morale amongst people in your business, pressure on others and the cost of absence, perhaps it should be a bigger deal for your business.
We encourage our clients to conduct regular reviews of sickness absence and the impact on the business. By keeping a log of all sickness, a record of all reasons for sickness absence, you can monitor whether absence levels are acceptable or if there appear to be patterns of absence that need to be addressed.
Sickness absence is a real balance for business. It is accepted that everyone is sick at times and need time off to recouperate, however, you also don’t want people dragging themselves into work and spreading their germs to others! By demonstrating to your workforce that you care, whilst also keeping a watchful eye on sickness history and conducting return to work interviews, we generally find a reduction in employee duvet days with their pussy cats!
The fact of the matter is, employees shouldn’t be allowed to get away with taking non-genuine sickness absence and employers should (through a fair investigation), consider disciplinary action where they believe there has been a dishonest absence. Last year, the Employment Appeal Tribunal found that Mr Ajaj (Ajaj v Metroline West Ltd) had in fact been dismissed for gross misconduct fairly. They found that where an employee (in this case Mr Ajaj) calls in sick when not actually sick and in this case, claimed sick pay for non-genuine absence, the employee is carrying out a dishonest act which amounts to a fundamental breach of the trust and confidence.
Top tips for sickness:
- Monitor absence on a regular basis
- Complete self-certification forms
- Conduct return to work interviews
- Don’t be afraid to treat non-genuine sickness seriously.
If you need assistance to deal with sickness absence issues or you’d like to put proper procedures in place, contact a member of ViewHR’s team on 01425 205391 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.