Open Navigation

Absence Management

Whatever the reason, unexpected absences can be difficult to manage.

From time to time it will be necessary for employees to have unplanned time off work. However, such absences can become problematic if they last for long periods or occur frequently. We provide practical guidance on how to manage these types of absences.

Absence Management

On most occasions, unexpected absences are one off occurrences which cannot be avoided.

It is advisable to have an effective way of monitoring absences and for a review of each employee’s absence record to be carried out on a regular basis: the odd day off here and there can add up! Where an employee’s absences appear excessive an effort should be made to understand the reason for the absence. An open dialogue should be created, with any conversations handled sensitively and in confidence, to understand any issues behind the absences.

When absences are caused by an underlying health problem, it may be appropriate to obtain an occupational health report to ascertain whether any adjustments may be required and understand whether the employee’s condition could be deemed to be a disability under the Equality Act 2010. If frequent absences are caused by a lack of childcare, consider whether flexible working arrangements could solve the issue.

Policies should be in place to explain what will happen if an employee is unable or unwilling to come in to work because of external circumstances such as bad weather or a rail strike. Employees can be expected to make reasonable efforts to make the journey in to work provided it is safe to do so and to consider alternatives if their normal route is unavailable.  It may also be appropriate to ask the employee to work from home. Any policy should clearly state whether the employee will be paid and what notification processes the employee should follow if they are unable to work.

In certain circumstances it may be appropriate to take formal action if the employer has cause to doubt the genuineness of an absence. Any disciplinary or capability action should be carefully managed and to minimise the risks of an ensuing dismissal being unfair.  The employee should have the opportunity to explain their absence and provide evidence for this.  If the employee is disabled within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 it might be reasonable to relax the usual policies and procedures which are in place by, for example, allowing an above average level of absence before formal action progresses.

News

Visit the UK

COVID-19

The UK Home Office has issued further guidance in respect of immigration provisions for UK migrants both inside and outside of the UK, in light of COVID-19. Migrants currently in the UK Visas expiring between 24 January 2020 – 31 May 2020 Individuals who are in the UK legally and whose UK visa is due…

Read More
CoronaVirus

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

There are a lot of “updates” circulating around the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  All similarly light on detail because, put simply, there is limited detail.  However, there are some things we do know, some we know to a degree, and some we can hazard an educated guess at (maybe). Normally I’d wait for the detail…

Read More
CoronaVirus

Coronavirus – Updated Advice on Employer Obligations

The landscape in relation to COVID 19 is constantly changing as governments reach decisions on what they believe to be best for their citizens – and, let’s be frank, their economies! Along with the immediate health (and health and safety) considerations, the long term economic impact is not something that any employer can ignore –…

Read More