Absence Management

Managing Sickness Absence


Sickness absence covers everything from the occasional day off with a minor complaint to several months off work with a serious condition. Causes may be due to, for example, accidents or mental illnesses. Having a ‘duvet day’ may also be used by staff to deal with personal matters, attend job interviews, or have a day off due to lack of motivation. It can also be a response to bullying, harassment or stress. Some ill-health can be due to working conditions or problems with the job role. 


A recent Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) survey on employee absence revealed that the average level of employee absence has increased slightly compared with 6.6 days (2014) to 6.9 days (2015) per employee, although it remains lower than in 2013 (7.6 days). There is, however, considerable variation in absence levels across and within sectors. On average, manual workers have 1.5 more days’ absence per year than non-manual workers. The overall median cost of absence per employee per day (£554) has fallen slightly compared with previous years, although there is considerable variation across organisations.


So, a very basic calculation: if you have 6 employees who have each had 6 days of sickness absence in 12 months, this has cost you in the region of £19,994!       


£20k down the drain …. yep, let that sink in for a while …


It’s clear to see why managing sickness absence deserves some serious consideration.


In managing absence it is important to remember that employees do actually get sick and, however disruptive this is to the business, it is important that employees are managed fairly and sympathetically. It is also important that there is consistency in the management of absence across the company. Failure to treat employees consistently leads to disengagement and resentment and, ultimately, your business will suffer as employees leave the business or underperform.


We have significant expertise in managing a number of complex sickness absence issues (from persistent short-term sickness through to long-term sickness, stress, capability and dismissal), as well as introducing effective procedures. We offer as much – or as little – support as you need. 

How We can Help You:

Whether you currently have an employee sickness issue that you need help managing and/or want a review and overhaul of your processes, we offer:

  • Case Management

  • Review of your absence policy and calculate your current absence levels

  • Identify patterns of absence and other potential concerns and provide action plans on how to manage them (or we can manage them for you)

  • Provide training to your managers to help them understand and manage sickness absence effectively

  • Implement a robust absence management procedure, including employee communications

  • Work with Occupational Health and other medical professionals to ensure the right outcome for your business

Benefits of outsourcing to us:

  • An effective Sickness Absence policy and procedure can reduce company absence levels significantly

  • Reduced absence levels reduces wasted money

  • Saves the business time as there are less issues to manage

  • Engaging us to case manage, allows manages to focus on running the business  and ensures a fair, objective and unbiased process

  • Peace of mind in knowing we are managing the issue in a legally sound way, whilst being pragmatic

There are any number of reasons that an employee may be absent from work, including:

  • Sickness

  • Holiday

  • Bereavement

  • Childcare Issues

  • Adverse Weather Conditions

  • Jury Service

  • Parental Leave

  • Maternity, Paternity and Adoption Leave

  • Time off to care for Dependants

  • Career Breaks and Sabbatical


This page is referring to Sickness Absence but, rest assured, we can assist you with any employee absence so please do get in touch.