How to handle sickness absence.

Sickness can have a serious impact on your staffing levels and should be carefully monitored to ensure that it is dealt with properly. Both long term sickness and short-term persistent absence should be dealt with in a timely fashion.

Short-term persistent absence

Sometimes a member of staff will take the odd day here and there as a sick day. By monitoring the amount of sickness and when it is taken you are able to decide whether there are underlying issues which need to be tackled or whether the member of staff is more likely to be “ throwing a sickie” just to have a day off.

The sort of pattern that can emerge is that the member of staff is taking their sick days predominantly on a Monday or Friday, after a regular night out, or during periods when big sporting occasions are taking place. The member of staff is less likely to do this if they think that they’re going to have to justify their day off when they come back into work the next day. This is why, even for the odd day off here and there, a back to work interview should take place when the member of staff returns to work.

Long-term absence

if a member of staff has been off work for four weeks then they should be promptly referred to occupational health to assess when they are likely to return to work and if they will be able to do the work that they were employed to do if they do return. To delay this process is delaying making decisions regarding the running of your school. Also if the sickness absence policy is followed consistently then everybody knows where they are at all times.

In either case the sickness absence policy should be followed to ensure fairness of approach and to avoid discrimination. Always contact your HR provider who will guide you through the process or give us a call if you need further help.

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