Absence management

Acas and the CIPD produce tools to help with absence management. These include identifying trends, dealing with short and long-term absence, developing an absence management policy and training line managers to know when they should intervene.

A key component of absence management is good data. Although the perception of staff ‘throwing sickies’ is high, in practice most sickness absences are genuine.

Good data can identify trigger points: for instance does a particular employee’s absences always coincide with a particular event or meeting with another employee? A carefully conducted return to work interview can identify workplace problems such as clashes with other employees or stress which can then be addressed. However, the hallmark of all successful absence management strategies is treating all employees fairly and consistently.