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Employee Sickness and Absence Management

Support employers to develop a healthy workplace culture

An estimated 141.4 million working days were lost in the UK due to sickness or injury in 2018.  The four most common reasons for sickness absence in 2018 published by The Office of National Statistics were:

  1. Illnesses (including coughs and colds)
  2. Musculoskeletal problems (including back pain and neck and upper limb problems)
  3. Other conditions (including accidents, poisonings and diabetes)
  4. Mental Health conditions (including stress, depression and anxiety)

There are two main types of absence which we term as recurrent short-term sickness absence and long-term sickness absence.  Both types of employee absence management are complex problems for our clients to address and require our expertise.  Reducing staff absence levels is fundamental to our occupational health service and to our clients who are operating a company. We understand that supporting individuals and ensuring that they return to work as soon as possible is critical to your business, whilst assisting the employees involved. 

We will work with you to review and agree what your trigger points are for referral to us by identifying:

  • Repeated short term absences
  • Long term absence, or prolonged absences that are likely to exceed 28 days
  • Mental Health concerns
  • Poor performance related to health concerns
  • Life limiting health conditions.

We will investigate the reasons for the absence which may include one or more of the following: 

  • Serious accidents or illness at work
  • Substance misuse
  • Health problems caused by work
  • Fitness to attend a disciplinary interview.

Absence management referral

An individual case can be referred to us where there is a concern about a person’s health, performance (where there may be health implications involved) or sickness absence. An assessment by one of our experienced health clinicians provides advice, guidance and recommendations to assist management in addressing these issues.  Specific steps will be to:

  1. Provide a written report within 48 hours (in accordance with our consent to release Occupational Health report process) detailing the prognosis for your employee, an agreed return to work plan and recommendations for reasonable adjustments
  1. Facilitate ‘round table’ case conferencing – to explore issues regarding a particular employee’s absence and/or capability for work
  1. Where there is no prospect of an employee’s health improving to a level that would allow them to return to work, we will advise on the eligibility for early retirement or permanent health insurance cover on grounds of ill-health.

Absence Management Recommendations

We make recommendations on:

  • Adjustments or restrictions to role following illness or accident
  • Adjustments or restrictions to duties following positive results from drug and alcohol tests
  • Leaving the organisation on grounds of ill health
  • Redeployment to accommodate disability or long-term illness
  • Retirement from the organisation on grounds of ill health
  • Temporary adjustments, permanent adjustments, or restrictions to work and working patterns to accommodate disability or long-term illness
  • Timescale for returning to normal duties following an illness or accident.

We will support your management team and employees to effectively manage sickness absence within your organisation. 

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