Sickness absence is an increasingly common challenge.
It can have a significant impact on your organisation’s productivity and profit, and on other staff members’ workloads and morale.
Understandably, managing sickness absence can be stressful for employers and colleagues. It can be difficult to maintain communication with an absent employee, and if the absence is caused by (or is a symptom of) a disability, it can quickly become complex and emotive.
Balancing sensitivity with pragmatism and policy
With that in mind, our specialist team is able to handle sickness absence cases with sensitivity and discretion, working with you to identify and manage the issues with care and professionalism. To gauge the best approach, we’ll ask questions such as:
Has the absence been properly notified, or is there a concern about unauthorised absence?
Is there any suggestion that the illness might not be genuine?
Is the absence short-term and intermittent, or long-term?
Is there a disability or other medical condition that needs further investigation?
Are there any health insurance or pension issues affecting the position?
Are there patterns of sickness or absence that indicate an abuse of leave or sickness absence benefits?
The answers to these questions will help us establish a considered strategy that achieves the best business solution in line with the absentee’s rights and the interests of your organisation, and which involves the least stress and hassle.
We’ve achieved this in a wide range of scenarios, for many clients. Examples of our sickness absence management experience include:
helping a medical practice to manage the absence of an employee with a terminal illness
advising on the fairness of adjustments sought by an employee with a disability, and advising on the employer’s conversations with that employee
supporting a small charity in managing the ongoing absence of a key member of staff within a small team
guiding an organisation through the dismissal of an employee on long-term absence, where the employee refused to engage or share important information.