Author: Lynda A. C. Macdonald
US Consultant: Julie DiMauro
- It is important for employers to adopt and implement an attendance management policy and, for this, an accurate assessment of absence levels and patterns will be necessary. See The Importance of Attendance Management and Measuring Absence.
- The main aim of an attendance procedure is to encourage reliable attendance among all employees. The procedure will be triggered when an employee reaches a certain level of absence and usually will consist of a number of defined stages. See Devising an Attendance Procedure, Trigger Mechanisms and Stages of an Attendance Procedure.
- Where a stage of the attendance procedure is activated, the employee should be invited to a formal attendance review meeting, which usually will result in a warning for unsatisfactory attendance. See Attendance Review Meetings and Warnings for Unsatisfactory Attendance Levels.
- There must be clear rules on the reporting of all periods of absence, and absence levels should be recorded consistently and accurately. See Recording Absence and Rules on Notifying Absence.
- Conducting return-to-work interviews is one of the most effective ways of facilitating reliable employee attendance. See Return-to-Work Interviews.
- In addition to compiling statistics on the number of days lost to absence, an employer wishing to manage attendance effectively will need to establish why employees fail to attend work and consider ways of encouraging higher levels of attendance. See Possible Causes of Frequent Non-Attendance, Flexible Working Practices, Policy on Domestic Emergencies, Attendance Incentives and Personal Days.
- Consistency between attendance procedures and other policies and procedures will be essential. See Interaction Between Policies.
- It can be helpful for employers to maintain some discretion over the payment of sick pay, thus allowing management to decline or withdraw payment from a particular employee if there is a proper reason to do so. See Sick Pay as a Tool for Managing Absence.
- It should be made clear that disciplinary action will be taken against employees who take time off work without a good reason or without providing proper notification. See Disciplinary Action for Unjustified Absence.