Sickness and Absence is a Key Concern for SMEs
6th September 2011
Sickness and absence from work are the top issues which most worry business bosses, according to a nationwide survey by employment law specialists Citation reported the Manchester Evening News and thebusinessdesk.com.
As the traditional autumn recruitment season approaches, Citation, based in Wilmslow, Cheshire, contacted its 6,500 customers across England, Wales and Scotland.
They were asked to rank issues from redundancy, managing sickness, discrimination, agency workers regulations, recruitment selection, maternity and paternity, discipline and grievances.
Andrea O’ Hare, Head of Personnel and Employment Law said; “Our survey showed that 21% of our clients were most bothered by sickness and absence issues and the impact this could have on their business."
“This was not surprising, absence is one of the most common issues we receive calls from on the employment law helpline. Many employers think that they cannot contact or meet with an employee when they are off sick, particularly for longer-term absences. This is simply not the case . We advise clients to establish and maintain regular contact with employees who are sick as regular open dialogue between employer and employee enables employers to closely manage sickness and absence issues and plan their businesses accordingly. For the employee, it can demonstrate the Company is concerned for their welfare and may well encourage them to return to work, benefitting both parties. For short term, intermittent absence problems, we advise keeping accurate records and regularly monitoring absence levels, which allows companies to target and deal with short term absence issues quickly, ensuring meetings take place with employees to address the problem.”
Managers were also concerned about discipline with 19% and recruitment and selection 18%. Redundancy came in fourth with 13%.
Citation client Andy Redfern, Managing Director of North West online marketing agency Hit Search, said; “We are a small business and staff sickness and absence has a huge impact on the team’s ability to deliver our service, not to mention the additional pressure it undoubtedly adds to the whole team.”
Businesses based in the North West were most concerned about recruitment and selection issues. Added Andrea;
“Employers need to take into account a number of factors when recruiting and selecting a candidate for a role. Firstly, they need to consider advertising for the role, the selection procedures used throughout the application process and subsequently the storing of data and interview notes after the suitable applicant has been recruited for the role. Failure to follow the correct procedures could leave employers exposed to a potential employment tribunal claim”.
Operating throughout the UK since 1995, Citation provides professional advice and compliance packages to business clients, mainly SMEs with between six and 200 employees. Independently endorsed at the highest level, its market leading services provide guaranteed protection in the high risk areas of employment law and health and safety regulations.
The company employs over 200 people and the helpline handles over 80,000 calls each year.
Manchester Evening News reports "Absence is a key issue", to read the full article click here
Thebusinessdesk.com reports "Sickness and Absence bother SMEs most", to read the full story click here
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