Wednesday, 27 January 2016
It's great to hear from Activ Absence customers that they notice an almost instant reduction in short term sickness absence of 20-30%, which more than covers the cost of the product - but how can HR Managers tackle the remaining absences, and crucially, how and when should they consider dismissing a staff member for persistent sickness?
The return to work interview process is crucial for identifying and managing patterns of short term sickness. It helps you identify those employees who may be suffering from a hidden disability or stress and gives you a chance to see if you can assist them by making reasonable changes, such as letting them work from home, reducing their hours or changing their environment or tasks until or if they recover.
Activ Absence users are armed with a built in return to work process and a whole series of absence reports, such as which days of the week employees take off (typically Mondays and Fridays). These will help in terms of providing the information you need to have an informal discussion, and for most employees that is enough. It also conveniently gives HR Managers vital evidence if the matter escalates.
However, no matter what systems HR put in place, there are still employees who will continue to take frequent sick days with no real excuse.
Employers will at some point inevitably also have to deal with staff who are off sick for substantial periods and are unfortunately never likely to be well enough to ever return to work. This is sad for both employer and employee, but nonetheless a situation that requires delicate handling.
Some cases will unfortunately reach a point when a decision has to be made to let an employee go.
It is obviously vital in these cases that employers handle dismissals for sickness absence sensitively and follow the correct procedure every step of the way.
In this article, HR News offers excellent general guidance from Employment Partner Kathryn Casey-Evans, Employment Partner at Trethowans solicitors. It is a must-read for any HR Manager deciding how to handle persistent sickness absence challenges:
Thursday, 14 January 2016
Blue Monday this year falls on 18 January. The third Monday in January was identified by university tutor Cliff Arnall as the most miserable day of the year. Whilst other academics are sceptical of Arnall's research, the day nonetheless has one of the highest rates of absenteeism of the year. Coincidence? Not so, says absence management expert Adrian Lewis of Activ Absence.
"Our customers always report a spike in sickness absence on this day - I jokingly told my colleagues that I'd be keeping an eye out for Blue Monday-itis!" he said.
On days where absence is higher than the norm, there is the perception that everyone is just taking sickies. However, depression and stress are very real illnesses, and 'Blue Monday' could simply be the straw that broke the camel's back.
It's vital to remember that employees are not always honest in their reasons for taking sick leave, and Adrian says that employers should look at a pattern of sickies and consider whether depression may be a factor. Indeed, new research from the UK’s largest job site CV-Library, revealed that 63.5% of sufferers wouldn’t give their depression as the reason for calling in sick and would use a different excuse. Click here to continue reading...
Tuesday, 12 January 2016
In 1961, Professor Richard Mattessich pioneered the development of spreadsheets – leading to the first commercial spreadsheet, Visicalc. Visicalc is credited with changing microcomputers from a hobby into a ‘serious business tool’. Spreadsheets are therefore 55 years of age…almost as old as the 57 year old pop superstar, and overdue for retirement in a fast moving technological world!
Madonna had an early hit with ‘Borderline’ back in 1984. She isn’t however, the only thing still rocking since then.. click here to read the rest of this article