Sickness Absence Management
Author: Lynda A. C. Macdonald
US Consultant: Julie DiMauro
- Given the high costs to business of sickness absence, it is important for employers to put in place and implement sickness and rehabilitation policies. See The Importance of Managing Sickness Absence.
- Employers should take measures to facilitate and promote employee health, thus reducing the likelihood of sickness absence. See Workplace Measures to Prevent Ill Health and Promote Well-Being.
- Various steps can be taken to minimize the likelihood of employees experiencing workplace stress and taking time off sick as a result. See Preventing and Managing Stress in the Workplace.
- Employee assistance programs can be used to promote health and well-being and provide help and support to individuals with personal or workplace problems. See Employee Assistance Programs.
- Employers should ensure that they have in place a clearly worded sickness absence policy, including rules on notification, required evidence, payment of sick pay and return-to-work interviews. See Sickness Absence Policies, Rules on Notifying Sickness Absence, Recording Absence, Self-Certification and Doctors' Certificates, Doctor's Notes; Paying Sick Pay and Return-to-Work Interviews.
- It is important to maintain contact with employees who are on long-term sickness absence and, when they are ready to return to work, to devise a structured return-to-work plan and allow for adequate adjustments and support. See Communication with Employees Who Are Absent Due to Long-Term Ill Health, Rehabilitation After a Period of Sickness Absence, and Adjustments and Support for a Returning Employee.
- It is good practice for employers to implement a drugs/alcohol policy with the principal aim of providing support to any employee who has an alcohol or drugs dependency. See Support for Employees with an Alcohol or Drug Dependency.