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Absence Measurement and Management

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However, while illness related absences are generally accepted as the primary cause of absence, not all sick leave absences are related to illness. Other factors in the workplace can have a major influence on the level of attendance at work and include:

  • Engagement levels;
  • Absence culture;
  • Work Organisation and role design;
  • Leadership style and management practice;
The survey also listed the most effective methods reported by Organisations in managing short-term absence. These included:
  • Conducting Return to Work Interviews;
  • Use of trigger mechanisms to review attendance;
  • Invoking disciplinary procedures for unacceptable level / pattern of absence;
  • Reviewing sickness absence data given to Line Managers;
  • Training Line Managers in handling absenteeism;
  • Restricting sick pay;
  • Utilising occupational health;
  • Offering alternative / flexible working arrangements;

In addition to the above, additional measures referenced by Organisations to effectively manage long term sick leave include:

  • Keeping in touch with the Employee during their absence from the workplace;
  • Planning and coordinating a return to work plan;

  • Regular follow up with the Employee following their return to work;

An overview of the key steps in managing short term and long term sick leave absence in your Organisation is outlined in our flowcharts. Guidance should always be sought in managing specific sick leave absences cases in the workplace.