Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Absence due to bereavement - Acas Guidelines

Despite bereavement affecting absolutely every single member of society, it has traditionally been seen as a 'taboo' subject, and as such there has not been much thought in business as to the correct way to handle an employee who is dealing with a recent bereavement.  Some employers have a policy for dealing with bereavement absence and compassionate leave, though many do not and in such cases, it is helpful to seek advice from such associations as ACAS.

No definition of 'reasonable' bereavement absence

Legally, employees are entitled to 'time off for dependants' (but nothing for non-dependants).  This is a reasonable amount of unpaid leave to deal with unforeseen emergencies, including arranging and attending the funeral of a dependant, and other tasks associated with such a death.  What the law defines as 'reasonable' is not specific but is generally understood to mean 1-2 days depending on the circumstances.  Many employers choose to offer paid special leave in this situation, and employees suffering from the stress of a bereavement may need longer time away from work as 'sick leave' if they are not well enough to be at work.

A 'dependant' could be a spouse, partner, child, parent or anyone living in the household. It could also be someone who relies on an employee for their care or for help during an emergency, such as an elderly neighbour.

Having a written bereavement policy is useful

Experts maintain that having a policy for compassionate leave  is really useful when supporting employees, who are more likely to return to work quickly if they see it as a source of support. It's also a help for managers who may be faced with sensitive conversations, and may be thankful for having a written policy to follow.

'Managing bereavement in the workplace - a good practice guide' aims to help employers manage this difficult situation with their employee in the immediate aftermath of bereavement as well as longer term. It can help employers prepare for managing bereavement in the workplace by having a clear bereavement policy and by training managers and selected staff to have compassionate and effective conversations with bereaved employees. The guidance was developed with a range of partners including Cruse Bereavement Care, NCPC and Dying Matters, and can be downloaded free of charge:

ACAS support welcomed by 'Dying Matters'

Claire Henry, Chief Executive of NCPC, which leads the Dying Matters Coalition, said:

“Every minute someone in the UK dies, and almost half of us report having been bereaved in the last five years. Yet society’s response, including in the workplace, often falls short – making it even harder for people to come to terms with the loss of someone close to them.

That’s why we are delighted to welcome this important new ACAS guidance which we fed into, and believe it should become required reading for all employers, supported by training for all line managers in talking about sensitive issues such as bereavement. Whether it’s through providing time off or flexible working for employees who have been bereaved or sensitive conversations and offers of support, employers can make a massive difference. With the number of people dying each year set to increase there’s never been a more important time to get bereavement support right, both in the workplace and throughout society.”

Bereavement leave needs to be administered fairly and recorded properly

Adrian Lewis, Commercial Director of Codel Software, developers of leading absence management solution Activ Absence, said: 

"Every bereavement absence situation is different, which is why the law is not specific as to how many days special leave should be granted.  However, as with all forms of absence, special leave for bereavement needs to be administered fairly and recorded properly. 

It is on areas like this that using our partnership network of HR consultants and legal experts is ideal, any Active Absence customers who would like help creating a  bereavement policy (or any other HR issue) can contact us and we will put them in touch with an expert who will give a 15 minute consultation free of charge".

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Activ Absence Survey Spring 2015 - great results for Activ Absence, free champagne for Julie!

Codel Software, developers of leading absence management software Activ Absence have today announced that the results of their Spring Survey are in, and it turns out that Activ have some very happy customers.

Activ Absence improves the way organisations manage absence

100% of those customers taking part felt that Activ Absence had significantly improved the way they managed absence within their organisation.  Overall, the results were very encouraging, with customers making such comments as:

"We have found Codel an easy company to deal with, and very responsive to enquiries. Activ Absence is intuitive, user-friendly, and does what is required." – Creative Learning Partners

Study day recording tool acts as a reminder too!

"We have found Activ Absence invaluable, we run 2 sites so couldnt envisage life without it! The busy clinicians also find the study day recording a useful tool as a reminder system." –  Hetherington Group Practice

Love the system and would be lost without it :) – Fleetmatics

Julie Holt from CEL wins free champagne

By way of a thank you, the team placed all entrants into a free prize draw, and the proud winner of a bottle of champagne was Julie Holt, the HR Manager from CEL.   Julie was delighted with her champagne, and said:

"I'm not used to winning things so I'm really excited!

We have being using Activ Absence for several years and would be lost without it.  On the rare occasion I have needed to contact the helpdesk and support team I have found them to be friendly and knowledgeable and always leave me with the impression that nothing is too much trouble. I would heartily recommend Activ Absence to any organisation looking for an absence management tool.”

Adrian Lewis, Managing Director of Codel said:

"The results are really encouraging, its nice to know we are helping people manage absence, as thats what we are all about.  However,  we are not resting on our laurels and we will use the feedback from our customers to keep improving throughout 2015 and beyond."

British Heart Foundation: 36% of workplace absence is due to stress

Recent research from the British Heart Foundation has uncovered that 36% of all workplace absences in the UK are due to stress and depression, a staggering 80 million working days and £9 billion per year.

Other conditions exacerbated by stress

The foundation also point out in their report that many of the following conditions are also exacerbated by workplace stress, including
• respiratory diseases
• infections
• obesity
• increased levels of substance abuse
• high blood pressure
• blood clotting
• low immunity
• coronary heart disease (because of an increase in risk factors such as smoking, cholesterol metabolism and low levels of physical activity).

Absence Management must include stress reduction

In the light of this evidence, there is a clear argument that any absence management strategy must include an approach to reduce stress in the workplace.
Indeed, employers also have legal obligations under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999, to assess the risk of stress-related ill health arising from work activities, under the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, to take measures to control that risk, and under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.  The Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) applies as much to people with mental ill health as it does to those with a physical disability. It is now illegal for organisations to fail to recognise the mental health needs of their staff.
The report concludes that the definition of ‘disability’ under the DDA applies to people with long-term mental health problems which have lasted or are likely to last up to 12 months. Employers have a duty to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ that could assist a person with a disability to do a job, and these adjustments need to be considered for employees with mental health problems. People with mental health problems are not a homogenous group, and many will not need to have any adjustments made, especially if they are given control over how and when they do their job. The most important single adjustment needed in the workplace is often related to attitudes to and assumptions about mental health.

What can Employers do?

The most important step that any employer can take, according to the BHF is to develop a workplace mental wellbeing policy.  It is also important to record any instances of any disability related absence separately to other instances of absence, no matter what the disability.
any policy should incorporate the following steps:
  1. Develop a culture of openness and support towards mental health problems.  People will then will feel safer about disclosing any mental health problem they have, and this may enable them to get the help they need early, which will assist both the employee and the employer.
  2.  Intervention, nurturing and support at an early stage, especially without judgement can really make an impact.  It is proven that appropriate support for mental problems such as stress will assist recovery and may reduce the length of time they need to take off work.  Careful recording of absence using an automated system will afford the HR Manager the opportunity to identify potential early warning signs of stress, possibly even before the employee is aware they have an issue.
  3. Finally, raising employees’ awareness about mental health issues and encouraging a supportive culture will make them less discriminating towards colleagues experiencing mental illness.
  4. Employees feeling more in control of their work will usually feel less stressed, therefore consider giving autonomy in small, manageable areas.
Overall there is still a lot to be done to raise awareness of stress at work, however as the BHF point out, the probability of dying from or suffering from coronary heart disease is 20% to 25% higher for men exposed to high demands and low control over working tasks compared to non-exposed workers. In women, job strain increases the risk of coronary heart disease from 20% to 60%.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Online Holiday Planners - how 'planned' is your Annual Leave?

Online holiday planner - family holiday
Photo courtesy of http://www.welldoing.org
It's that time of year again when we are seeing a rush of adverts for sunny beaches, superb sangria and whitewashed villas...or a good old fashioned Butlins themed weekend.  Thoughts everywhere are already on where to spend those two glorious weeks off work.

Before you get inundated with a mad rush of holiday requests, its worth taking time to look at how you are managing your annual leave and see whether or not an online holiday planner would be a better option for your business.

In a digital age with online calendars, where even birthdays are managed with Facebook reminders, spreadsheets and paper are fast becoming redundant - with good reason.

Paper is messy, important data is often lost and reporting is time consuming and messy at best and impossible to do at worst, and spreadsheets are only as good as the person managing them,

If that person happens to be you, there are some simple metrics to decide if you really want that burden.  Each staff member typically takes 7 different holiday occasions per year.  Managing by spreadsheet means you will get at least 7 requests from each member of staff, which you will then normally have to clear with their line manager, then report back to them.  In an organisation with 100 staff, that adds up to a whopping 2100 x 10 minute conversations or emails about annual leave each year plus the actual admin time in entering in the data.  With multiple sites, its even harder, and the person 'at the top' (or often the person in charge of admin for the person 'at the top') has to compile data from multiple spreadsheets into reports for the board.   All of this adds up to a monumental workload leading many HR managers to say 'spreadsheets are the bane of my life'!

In the digital age there are plenty of other options.

Adrian Lewis, Commercial Director for Codel Software, the developers of leading absence management software Activ Absence, said:

"Spreadsheets really do complicate a very simple process.  With our system, staff see their own leave entitlement and can request leave in 2 clicks from any device, even a smartphone, and their line manager approves or rejects the request in one click!   Whilst we can set up multi stage approvals, for most people the HR Manager doesn't even need to be involved in most leave requests - and the reporting is automatic!"

"Our software will even remind you if there is too much annual leave remaining in the business so you don't reach the end of the year with too many people needing to take time off in December."

Having a cursory glance at the products on the market, most of the online holiday planners out there are far more cost effective than an HR Manager's time.  There is an argument that your Managers would cost the same even if they were not doing admin, but your skilled HR people are a valuable resource.  By reducing their admin burden, you give them time to nurture talent and support those individuals who would be otherwise off sick or would leave - and that is a far bigger cost to the business.

Certainly all of the users of online holiday planners we spoke to are big fans of the digital technology. Rachel Sumner, HR Manager for Cartesian, said:
"Activ Absence has eliminated the need for unreliable manual calculations of pro-rated leave and carry-over, reduced the admin burden involved in monthly leave reconciliations and improved accuracy of staff time sheet recording.  Our staff now have better visibility of the amount of leave they can take and the types of leave to which they are entitled."
Indeed, whilst many users of online holiday planners are keen to sing the praises of the new technology, we were hard pressed to find a user of any online holiday planning solution who had removed it to go back to a spreadsheet.   The message is clear - there is no longer any need to struggle with a manual system, technology is here to stay, so use it!

Election Fever Hots Up the HR Promises!

Interesting to note that every party is keen to secure the vote for their sector with promises for employees... here's a quick round up of the promises we have seen so far that will affect HR Departments if implemented:


  • Create three million apprenticeships to be paid for by benefit cuts.  
  • Raise the personal allowance - the point at which you start paying income tax - to £11,000 in April 2016 and then to £12,500 by 2020, which means that if you work on minimum wage for 30 hours you will pay no income tax.
  • Recruit 5,000 more doctors
  • In England, everyone would be able to see a GP seven days a week by 2020


  • Guarantee a job for under 25s unemployed for over a year and adults unemployed for more than two years. As many young people to go on an apprenticeship as currently go to university by 2025. 
  • Create a million new high technology, green jobs by 2025. 
  • Ban "exploitative" zero hour contracts.  
  • Double the amount of paid paternity leave available to new fathers from two to four weeks, and increase statutory paternity pay to £260 a week  
  • Scrap married couples tax allowance.
  •  Double the number of Sure Start childcare places to more than 118,000.
  • Recruit 5,000 more healthcare workers to help patients stay in their homes and introduce new safety checks to identify people at risk of hospitalisation. 
  • "Smarter" targets to reduce low-skilled migration but ensure university students and high-skilled workers are not deterred. 
  • Employment agencies who only recruit abroad will be outlawed while the fines for employing illegal immigrants will be increased.
  • Parents of primary school children would be guaranteed childcare from 8am to 6pm

Lib Dems: 

  • An extra £1 an hour for the lowest paid apprentices. 
  • Campaign to create a million more jobs.  
  • Raise the personal allowance - the point at which you start paying income tax - to £11,000 in April 2016 and then to £12,500 by 2020.


  • Introduce gender quotas on public boards. 
  • Living wage "a central priority" in all Scottish government contracts. 
  • Continue the 'small business bonus'.
  • Reduce the number of senior managers in the NHS by 25% over the next parliament.
  • Guaranteed free 30 hours of childcare a week for three and four-year-olds in Scotland, up from 16 hours

Plaid Cymru: 

  • Provide rates relief for small businesses. 
  • Increase the number and value of contracts from Welsh public bodies that go to firms within Wales.
  • Pass a Military Wellbeing Act to promote and safeguard the physical and mental health and wellbeing of military personnel.


  • Allow firms to offer jobs to British workers first "without the fear of being sued for discrimination".  
  • Increase the personal allowance to the level of full-time minimum wage earnings, about £13,500, by 2020.
  • Greater emphasis on vocational education with new Apprenticeship Qualification Option.


  • A national energy conservation scheme to create thousands of new jobs. 
  • The party wants to create "sustainable jobs" and promotes more local production of food and goods.
  • The party backs a Citizen's Income, a fixed amount to be paid to every individual, whether they are in work or not, to be funded by higher taxes on the better off and green levies. But in the short-term it would increase the minimum wage to £10 by 2020. 
  • Ban zero hours contracts.
  • Abolish the work capability assessment and restore the level of the former disability living allowance. 

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Line managers are the best people to support staff with musculoskeletal disorders

In a report published in 'Personnel Today', Kate Summers noted that musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) were the leading cause of sickness absence and productivity loss in the UK last year.  She went on to explain how support from effective line management could allow those with MSDs to remain in work. Kate Summers explains. 
According to Self-management of chronic musculoskeletal disorders and employment by The Work Foundation, employers need to accommodate the needs of employees with MSDs to avoid their condition worsening and preventing them from falling into unemployment.
The report looks at the self-management of chronic musculoskeletal disorders for those in employment and it found that individuals living with a musculoskeletal condition go to great lengths to personally ensure they are able to continue working. Generally, employers do not ensure that these individuals truly benefit from the psychological, social and economic benefits that attending work offers, which would, in turn, make them happier, healthier and more productive.
The report’s findings present insights and challenges to today’s employers when it comes to managing employees with MSDs in particular, and chronic conditions more generally. A number of employer recommendations were developed from interviews with individuals living with an MSD who were either in work or planned to return to work in the future. These interviews covered the history of their condition, as well as their working lives, and the role that they, and others, played in managing their condition at work.
The term MSD describes any condition that affects the bones, joints and connective tissue, the most common of which is arthritis in its various forms. They are sometimes misunderstood as conditions that affect the elderly, and therefore not of particular relevance to the working-age population. However, in 2013, the Office for National Statistics reported that MSDs were the largest single cause of sickness absence in the UK.
Furthermore, in 2011, 37% of Employment and Support Allowance claimants reported an MSD as their primary health condition. MSDs are therefore highly relevant to the working-age population, and a threat to employers in terms of lost productivity.

What is self-management?

Self-management is a concept gaining increasing attention within healthcare, and is defined in the report as being an individual’s ability to manage the consequences of living with a chronic condition. These consequences are not limited to physical symptoms, but include the psychological, emotional and lifestyle challenges that are inherent to living with such conditions. Individuals have different capacities to self-manage MSDs, and self-management behaviours vary widely from involvement in medical decisions, learning techniques to cope with pain or fatigue, taking appropriate exercise and following a specific diet, or having the ability to set and achieve goals related to the condition. Having patients who are informed about their condition, and who play an active role in managing it, is gradually becoming central to the way that long-term conditions are conceptualised in healthcare. However, how self-management is played out in the context of work is less understood.

Employer responsibilities

Under the Equality Act 2010, employers must make reasonable adjustments to ensure that disabled workers are not seriously disadvantaged when at work. However, the report found that provision of employer adjustments was patchy, and the onus was often on employees to negotiate beneficial changes to the workplace. Employers have a legal obligation to provide reasonable adjustments, but some individuals felt reluctant to ask for support. One said: “I just thought I would try and get on with what I’ve got. I almost don’t want to ask for stuff.”
Another individual described how they were aware of a range of workplace adjustments, but had not asked for some because they felt they had to prioritise what they requested: “I know there are special keyboards and that sort of thing. But I haven’t asked because I’m thinking of maybe going back to four days a week. Would she want to invest in me?”
If employers are more proactive in fulfilling their obligations to employees with disabilities, their workforce would be better equipped to do their jobs. At present, those who are reluctant to seek adjustments are not getting the support they need.

Integrate employees with MSDs into the workforce

Individuals with MSDs often do not want to be considered as “different”, for fear of being judged unable to do their job  properly. This may, in turn, make them reluctant to seek support in managing their condition. There are ways in which employers can avoid “singling out” individuals with MSDs to avoid making them feel vulnerable. For example, with reference to workplace assessments: “It would be great if everybody could get this assessment, regardless of whether not you have a disability… That way, it puts everybody on the same footing.”
Many study participants also spoke about fear of job loss, resulting in a reluctance to talk about their condition with their employer in case it singled them out as less productive or able: “I just feel they’re always judging you because they think you’re not capable at your job if you’re asking for these adjustments. Or they feel that you won’t be able to do you work correctly,” said one.

XpertHR resources

Good practice: wellbeing
It is very important that individuals with MSDs do not feel their condition has a bearing on their performance assessments. Line managers should conduct discussions regarding performance completely separately to discussions about supporting the individual and their condition. It may even be necessary to assign one manager to oversee an individual’s performance, and a separate one to lead on providing appropriate support. Developing an employee relationship where individuals are able to communicate honestly about the implications of their MSD at work, and request adjustments so they are seen as a valued member of staff, is also important.

Educate your workforce about chronic conditions

One of the biggest barriers faced by individuals with MSDs is the ignorance of others regarding their condition. This can lead to individuals concealing their MSD and not receiving the support they need, thus compromising the management of their condition. When asked what would improve the management of their condition in the workplace, respondents often stated: “Better awareness; people understanding a bit more about it.”
Charities such as Arthritis Care run arthritis awareness courses which can be delivered in the workplace and may be one way to educate a workforce about MSDs.

Line managers have a key role to play

The role of the line manager is key in either facilitating or impeding an individual’s management of their MSD. Participants with a good line manager felt more supported in the workplace. One employee stated: “She knows my condition, she knows how it affects me, and I think that helps tremendously.”
Although being better informed was identified by participants as being an important step in supporting those employees with MSDs, some line managers appear reluctant to seek out more information about the condition: “I think the managers should have taken it upon themselves to understand my illness better,” says one sufferer.
It is crucial that line managers work hard to build a strong relationship with any employess living with an MSD, and that they take responsibility for becoming more aware of the condition their employee is living with, and how it can have an impact on their role. Line managers must be proactive in asking how employees with MSDs can be supported in their role and be guided by employees in developing mutually beneficial employment solutions.

A call to action for employers

Improving the management and support for employees with MSDs will see employers reaping the benefits of increased productivity, employee engagement and reduced sickness absence. The Work Foundation’s report finds that individuals living and working with an MSD bear too much of the burden of ensuring they are able to manage their condition at work and challenges employers to do more.
Employers have a legal obligation to provide reasonable adjustments to employees with a disability. To enable this, a positive employment relationship is required, where employees feel able to express any concerns they have regarding their MSD at work, and feel that their line manager is supportive, empathetic and reactive if they request necessary appropriate adjustments.
Line managers do not need to be “experts” in MSDs, however an awareness is needed to ensure positive employee wellbeing (both physical and mental) is maintained. Dialogue should also be encouraged to develop mutually beneficial solutions and ensure that employees with MSDs feel valued and integrated into the workforce. This is not new, radical thinking, it is the essence of ensuring the implementation of “good management”. Employees will benefit from improved wellbeing when the pressure to manage their condition at work themselves is removed, and employers will see improved engagement and productivity.

How we can help

Without a good absence management system in place, it is difficult to identify which individuals need support.  Employers do have a duty of care to protect their employees, and by and large the majority of managers and HR personnel want to do their best for their team.

Absence management expert Adrian Lewis of www.activabsence.co.uk, said:

"absence management has a perception of being the proverbial 'big stick', but it is far more about identifying employees who need support than in 'whipping people' back to work.  We work on the basis that there are lots of reasons for absence.  Our software Activ Absence helps to identify those who really are in need of support, and by automating many of the mundane tasks, gives the HR Manager more time to use their skills in educating and informing line managers and preparing return to work plans."

“Self-management of chronic musculoskeletal disorders and employment” by Kate Summers, Zofia Bajorek and Stephen Bevan, was published by The Work Foundation in 2014.
Please also see http://www.personneltoday.com/hr/line-managers-key-role-supporting-staff-musculoskeletal-disorders/?cmpid=NLC

Monday, 9 February 2015

Sickies alone costs UK £9Bn per year

Recent global research from PWc, who interviewed over 2,000 UK adults and data gathered from 2,500 global companies, showed that even though the rates are significantly lower than in previous years, sick days are still costing UK organisations over £23bn a year.

Of course there are genuine reasons for many people to take time off work.   Nobody would expect an employee with cancer undergoing radiotherapy to be in work, and after a prolonged absence, modern HR teams are skilled in supporting these employees to make sure they are ready to come back and adequately looked after when they do.
However there is also the issue of how we tackle employees who believe that the odd ‘sickie’ is ok – and getting them to realise that their short absences harm their employer and the economy as a whole.
One of the most interesting findings of PWCs research was a massive variance from region to region when it comes to ‘pulling a sickie’.
A quarter of employees in the North East admits to having pulled a sickie, but this is by far the lowest of the UK regions, with Londoners topping the list with a massive 43% admitting to taking sick days, followed by 36% in the North West.
Popular reasons in the North East ranged from having a hangover (19%), family responsibilities (40%), interviewing for another job (28%) and good weather (14%).
Illness is by far the most common reason given with 50% in the region using it as an excuse.
PWc estimate that out of the total £23bn a year, the amount that can be directly attributed to employees lying or exaggerating to take time off work is a massive £9bn a year, and this is a sum that businesses are working hard to reduce.report on sickies and bradford factorBill MacLeod, senior partner at PwC in Newcastle, said:
“The combination of better weather and major sporting events may mean that the temptation to lie to take time off work to watch sport is too much for some.

“Organisations could easily reduce the knock-on impact on their workers’ productivity levels by offering flexible working or allowing them to watch key matches in the office.
“Our research shows that when it comes to reducing absence levels, carrot rather than stick is the best approach. Having a flexible working culture can go a long way to breaking the cycle of people feeling that they are entitled to days off outside of their holiday allowance and encouraging better engagement. The change in law that means anyone now has the right to request flexible working should help more people achieve the work/life balance they need without impacting on organisations’ productivity.”

In the North East, 24% of those surveyed said a flexible working approach is the measure that would most likely put them off from pulling a ‘sickie’, along with initiatives such as duvet days with 8% saying these schemes would put them off pulling a sickie.

Codel Software, developers of absence management software ‘Activ Absence’ also observed that making workers aware of the effect their short term absence has on an organisation can positively change their views on sickies.   Many organisations now use something called ‘the Bradford Factor’ to analyse when a staff members’ short term sickness reaches an unacceptable level, the calculation is built into Codel’s software and each employee sees their own level every time they login.

Adrian Lewis, Director of Codel Software, said:activ absence bradford factor“It is widely accepted that, used effectively, the Bradford Factor can reduce absenteeism by serving as a deterrent and a method for tackling persistent absenteeism: Studies have shown that by educating staff about the Bradford Factor and then showing them their score on a regular basis, (as we do in Activ Absence) absenteeism can be reduced by over 20%.

This is largely down to staff understanding that taking the ‘odd’ day off here and there will quickly multiply their Bradford Factor score. The Bradford Factor places a value on the impact of the absence which an employee can clearly see, this can serve to deter absenteeism.”
For those who want to understand about their Bradford Factor, there is a handy calculator on Codel's Activ Absence website: http://www.activabsence.co.uk/bradford-factor/bradford-factor-calculator
The overwhelming message of the PWc report is clear, whilst the absence figures are going in the right direction, there is still a great deal of work to be done.

Reproduced from HRNews.co.uk - with thanks

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Don’t be caught out this Six Nations!

Every good HR manager knows that absenteeism will spike at certain times of the year and around certain events – especially major sporting tournaments.

With the 2015 Six Nations about to kick off, companies should brace themselves for an increase in sick days during the tournament as fans either overindulge over the weekend or want to get a head-start when it comes to weekends away.

The tournament kicks off on Friday, with Wales and England battling it out in the Millennium Stadium.

Companies take different approaches to managing such a problem. Some take a firm stance and may take a disciplinary route in some instances. Others will make allowance for employees’ overindulgences in the hope of engendering better long-term relations.

But the real question firms should be asking is: how much does such absenteeism cost? A quick analysis on the cost of annual leave could well change their approach to such problems.

Conducting such an analysis is almost impossible using old-fashioned spreadsheets. An easy solution is to instead use Activ Absence, a cloud based and easy to use absence management system created by Codel Software.

Activ Absence allows HR managers to monitor, analyse and manage the implications of both planned and unplanned absence.

Adrian Lewis, Commercial Director of Codel Software, said:

“Spikes in absenteeism represent a continual challenge for HR managers. Our software can help companies firstly get a grip on the implications of such problems and help inform directors to make the right decision in terms of how to deal with this issue.

“Many companies still use spreadsheets to record sickness. These cannot do what our software does. Activ Absence is a brilliant way to keep on top of everything. It is extremely user friendly and requires little training. We will also prepare an individual cost benefit analysis for your business free of charge.”