Sickness Absence Management

Managing sickness absence can be a tough balance to strike. While on the one hand you want – and need – to be sympathetic, on the other hand, regular sickness can soon start to impact your business.

Is sickness absence giving you a headache?

If you’re getting ground down by the legalities of sickness absence or the HR side of handling employees, then now’s time to stop. We’ve been helping businesses – like yours – get the balancing act right for more than 20 years, and we can do the same for you too.

Whether it’s help putting policies into place, having difficult conversations or following a fair disciplinary process, we’re here to take the stress out of sickness absence.

We’ll create a bespoke sickness policy for you. We’ll guide you through what to do if an employee’s off ill. We’ll help you spot sickness, absence and lateness trends. We’ll talk you through your long-term sickness responsibilities. We’ll ensure your business is a safe and healthy place to work. And we’ll set you up on our online management platform, Atlas, so that you can effectively and efficiently log and report sickness absences.

The benefit for you? You’ll free up time to focus on what you do best: running and growing your business. Simply fill in the form below for more information on how we could start helping you and your business today.


Return to work interviews

When an employee’s been off sick – regardless of how long for – you should conduct a return to work interview on their first day back. If their first day back isn’t practicable, then you should arrange it for as soon as is convenient.

The return to work interview should be held by someone with the authority to do so – like the employee’s manager or a member of your HR team.

When it comes to the interview, ask the employee questions like:

  • What was the reason you were off?
  • Did you see a GP about your ailment?
  • Were you prescribed any treatment or medication? If so, will this affect your ability to carry out your role in any way?

Reporting procedures and recurring absences

If the employee didn’t follow the right absence reporting procedure, you should take the return to work interview as an opportunity to remind them of the correct procedure.

And, if an employee’s repeatedly absent due to sickness or displaying suspicious absence patterns, you should address this during the return to work interview too.

Last but not least, remember to document – in writing – everything that’s discussed during the return to work interview. This will give you an audit trail to refer to should the employee’s absence amount to disciplinary action.

Sickness policy

To ensure everyone knows your stance on sickness absence, it’s important to have a clear and well-communicated sickness policy in place. Your policy should cover areas like:

  • Notification of absence
  • Period of absence
  • Returning from absence
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • Contractual sick pay (if relevant)
  • Recovery of sick pay.

Not sure where to start when it comes to sickness policies? Not to worry. Our HR & Employment Law experts are a dab hand at putting them together. Get in touch with the team on 0345 844 1111 or to get the ball rolling today.

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Who’s entitled to SSP?

You must pay SSP if the individual:

  • Is classed as an employee
  • Has been off ill for at least four consecutive days – this includes non-working days
  • Earns £116 (before tax) on average a week.

How much is SSP?

The current SSP rate (as of April 2018) is £92.05 a week. SSP should be paid as part of an employee’s normal pay package, and it applies for up to 28 weeks of sickness absence. Once this 28-week entitlement has been used up, employees are no longer legally entitled to SSP.

Understanding who is and isn’t entitled to SSP can be a minefield – we get that. So, to hand some of it over, get in touch with our HR & Employment Law specialists.

How Atlas can help

With our online management platform, Atlas, managing sickness absences couldn’t be simpler. You can easily log when an employee’s off ill and, with its reporting facility, you can quickly download information like:

  • Employee’s name
  • Employee’s job title
  • Length of absence period or days or hours
  • Reason for the absence
  • Any comments made when logging the absence.

Reports can be exported for numerous employees at once, and can span back to include days, weeks, months or years’ worth of data – depending on how long you’ve been set-up on the system for.

Is your head spinning?

If your mind’s gone into overdrive, then give us a call to see how our experts can help.

Whether it’s help creating a bespoke sickness policy, communicating absence reporting procedures, conducting return to work interviews or navigating your way through a fair disciplinary process, our HR & Employment Law experts are with you every step of the way.

Get in touch with the team on 0345 844 1111 or to see how we can start supporting you today.

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