As a business owner, managing employee illness can feel challenging and complex.
It requires creating policies that are beneficial to both the company and its employees while staying compliant with employment laws. However, it’s essential for business owners and HR staff to understand how to properly manage sick days since their decisions can affect others within the company.
In this blog, we’ll provide strategies and resources for navigating sick days; helping employers maintain productivity and ensuring compliance with all applicable regulations.
Ensure Employee Rights When Off Sick
In the UK, employees are entitled (subject to certain qualifying criteria) to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), which is paid in the event of prolonged sickness.
It’s important for employers to make sure that their staff are aware of their rights and entitlements when it comes to sick leave and company sick pay, so they can make informed decisions when needed.
Those of you who have read our previous articles will be aware that it is, in fact, mandatory for information about sick pay and procedures to be included in the written statement of employment particulars issued to the employee on or before their first day of employment.
It’s essential that employers remain compliant with all applicable employee sickness rights, laws and regulations when managing employee absences. This includes laws regarding privacy when handling employee data, as well as rules governing things like paid leave and payroll deductions.
Implement Sick day Policies and Procedures
To effectively manage a period of sickness, it is crucial for employers to optimise their sick day policy. This entails establishing clear and consistent policies and procedures that outline expectations for reporting illnesses and any associated timeframes or deadlines.
It’s also important for employers to outline the process for reporting sickness absence, as well as any disciplinary procedures and actions that may be taken if an employee fails to follow established procedures or abuses their privileges.
Finally, employers should ensure that their employees are aware of the sick day policies and any applicable regulations concerning employee sickness. By being mindful of these requirements, employers can avoid potential legal issues while still protecting their employees from unfair treatment.
Create a System for Tracking Employee Illnesses and Absences
Managing employee attendance and illnesses can be a challenge for any organisation.
Keeping track of who is out of the office and why they are absent can be a daunting task on top of regular job duties. That’s why developing a reliable system for tracking employee absences is crucial to maintain productivity and stay on top of potential staffing issues.
A streamlined system will provide a clear overview of employee attendance records and help identify patterns of absence, allowing management to take smart steps to improve staff physical health, mental health and wellbeing.
This can also help prevent the spread of contagious illnesses, keeping the workplace healthy and safe for everyone. By investing in a comprehensive tracking system, companies can ensure they stay on top of employee attendance and keep their business running smoothly.
Develop a Sickness Absence Policy
No two employees are the same, so whilst you need a consistent policy framework, it’s also important to have the flexibility to be able to manage different situations in the most appropriate way. Creating a policy that allows managers to treat their staff with compassion and common sense, recognising their individual needs, can reduce friction and ensure you remain compliant with employment laws.
For example, some employers may operate a strict ‘no texting’ policy when it comes to reporting absent due to sickness, insisting on a call to line manager before the start of the normal working day. On the other hand, other organisations may be more comfortable with such an arrangement.
Either way, it’s important for employers to be clear about expectations and communication with employees on what to do when they are too sick to attend work. Establishing a fair and flexible policy can help build trust with employees and set the foundation for a healthy work environment.
Create a Supportive and Understanding Workplace Environment
When it comes to managing employee sickness, communication is key.
It’s important for employers to communicate openly with their staff about what to expect when it comes to sick leave and any related policies or procedures. By creating an open dialogue between the employer and the employee, it can help ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to sick leave policies and procedures.
It’s also important for employers to create a supportive environment where employees feel comfortable enough to take time off work when they are ill without fear of repercussions. This includes creating an understanding workplace culture where employees are able to have candid conversations about their general health, any health conditions or concerns they may have.
By implementing policies and procedures that are beneficial to both the company and its employees, employers can ensure that sick days are managed properly while protecting everyone’s rights and entitlements.
Provide Resources for Preventative Care and Wellness
Encouraging employees to take proactive steps towards their health can help reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and improve overall morale.
Business owners should provide resources that encourage healthy habits among staff, such as access to wellness programmes, health screenings and incentives for healthy activities. Additionally, employers should ensure that employees have access to the necessary information and resources needed to make informed decisions about their health.
By taking preventive measures and providing resources for employee wellness, business owners can help create an environment where everyone is healthier, happier and more productive.
Get Professional Insights
You may also want to consider working with an HR specialist to help you create and implement your sick leave policies.
A qualified professional can provide tailored advice that takes into account all applicable laws and regulations. They can also offer guidance on how best to manage a period of absence for an employee and ensure your business is compliant.
Having a comprehensive plan that takes into account all relevant laws and regulations is essential to providing a safe and healthy work environment for your employees.
If you would like support and advice on how you’re currently handling employee absenteeism, make sure to get in touch.