Winter can be a tricky month for any business in terms of managing sickness. After all, the combination of Christmas festivities, shorter daylight hours, and miserable weather all have an impact on seasonal sickness levels.
During the colder months employees are also far more susceptible to illnesses, compared to any other time of the year.
However, with sickness levels having a huge impact on business growth, productivity and cash flow, it’s crucial that all businesses (big or small) take the necessary action to manage seasonal sickness effectively.
Here’s our guide to managing seasonal sickness:
Record all absence
All absences should be recorded, This will not only allow you to monitor an employee’s sickness levels, but it will also allow you to minimise disruption by arranging cover, identifying patterns and causes of absence, and ensuring that accurate sick pay is provided.
At the same time, employers should always ensure that as part of any sickness policy, all employees fully understand how to report an absence and how it will be recorded.
There are plenty of HR tool kits available which offer great solutions for recording absences.
Back to work interviews
Back to work sessions not only allow employers to check in on the health and wellbeing of their employees, but they also allow businesses to determine whether reasonable adjustments are needed to help their employee to return to work.
It also allows employers to establish whether or not the illness was work related.
Be consistent when it comes to handling absence issues
There are lots of reasons why employees might need time of work and whatever the reason is, it’s crucial that all employers adopt a fair and consistent approach when it comes to managing sickness.
And remember you can’t address absence issues if they are not recorded.
What to do if you think that an employee is not telling the truth
If you have any concerns that an employee is not telling the truth about being ill, you should always seek advice from HR.
Your HR department or HR representative will require a number of pieces of evidence to create a case against the employee in question and investigate further.
This includes absence patterns along with any other pieces of supporting evidence that indicates the employee is not telling the truth.
At the same time, if you are dealing with an employee on long-term sick, you should also seek advice from a HR representative.
If you require any assistance or advice about managing seasonal sickness, please get in touch.