Sickness and absenteeism

How to deal with sickness and absenteeism – overview

At an average of £666 per employee per year (according to a recent CIPD survey), absenteeism has a huge impact in the workplace and can be one of the most difficult issues to manage effectively. This workshop equips managers with the knowledge, skills and confidence to manage absence proactively and appropriately in accordance with your organisation’s policies, best practice and legal considerations.

Please click HERE to be taken to our sister brand’s website, Maximum HR, where you will find a more up-to-date version of this programme.

Learning objectives

This is a skills- and confidence-building programme which will help participants to:

  • Ensure an objective, consistent and fair approach to managing absence in your organisation
  • Understand the impact of absenteeism and the role and responsibility of managers in this area
  • Appreciate the legal implications and the need to comply with your organisation’s policies and procedures
  • Manage short- and long-term absence effectively
  • Conduct effective return to work interviews in a range of circumstances
  • Manage sensitive health issues within the workplace
  • Build knowledge, skills and confidence in managing sickness absence proactively
Who should attend?

All managers, in any type of organisation – large or small; public, voluntary or private sector.

Course format

This course is highly participative. It uses small team discussion, case studies and practical exercises, including a practice return to work interview which participants will prepare for and conduct on the day with support from the trainer.

Participants will be sent a welcome pack in advance of the course which will include some pre-course work as well as asking them to reflect upon their own experiences and challenges in this area.

Participants will also be asked to familiarise themselves with your organisation’s internal policies and procedures relating to this area and to bring copies to the course for reference throughout.

Special features

This programme is, of necessity, tailored to each different organisation in which it is delivered, to reflect their policies and procedures, etc. The content, duration, objectives and material used can all be tailored to suit your specific needs.

Expert trainer

Rosanne, who has over twenty years’ experience working in Human Resources as an HR Manager, a trainer and a coach, is passionate about helping organisations and individuals reach their full potential. She has substantial experience of training and development at all stages, including training needs analysis, designing and delivering training interventions and training evaluation against business outcomes and performance. A Chartered Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, a Business Practitioner in NLP and with a background in Transactional Analysis, Rosanne is also a qualified coach through the Coaches Training Institute and has recently graduated from the Solutions Focus Professional Training programme.

Rosanne has worked as the lead HR associate trainer with The In-House Training Company ever since its formation in 2006 and in that time has delivered an outstanding service to a range of clients, including Stevenage Leisure, Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Johnson Matthey, Cambridgeshire NHS Trust, Hertfordshire Chamber of Commerce, Central Borders Housing, Hertfordshire County Council, RIAS Insurance, Arvato Loyalty, Personal Group, Grant Thornton, etc.

A presenter of both ‘open’ and in-house training courses, Rosanne’s approach generates excellent feedback, as the following comments show:

‘A lot of information was absorbed. I’ve not had SO MUCH FUN on any previous course.’

‘Excellent facilitator. Can draw the audience and get the best out of them.’

‘I think that this is the most useful and enjoyable course I have attended so far, not only in content but also in presentation.’

‘Thoroughly enjoyable and highly relevant throughout. Very professionally prepared and presented. Thank you.’

‘Really fun, very informative, lots of great ideas.’

‘Excellent course in terms of content, right balance of theory and practical sessions. Rosanne made us feel extremely relaxed and gave feedback to help us learn from the practical sessions.’

How to deal with sickness and absenteeism– course outline

1 Setting the scene

  • Understanding absence, eg, levels of absence, main types of absence, cost of absence in your organisation (overall and at departmental levels)
  • The need for a proactive and consistent approach
  • Contractual obligations on employer and employee

2 Managing sickness absence

  • Your organisation’s sickness absence policy and procedures
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities – manager, employee, HR, Occupational Health, EAP, etc
  • Recording and monitoring absence
  • Notification and certification – the ‘fit note’
  • Other essential paperwork

3 Managing short-term absence

  • Defining short-term absence
  • Effective strategies to tackle short-term absence
  • Monitoring absence and trigger points
  • Sickness review meetings
  • Taking formal action
  • Dismissal

4 Return to work interviews

  • Purpose and outcome
  • Four key steps (WARM)
  • The interview
  • Video examples
  • Preparing for and conducting a return to work interview
  • Practical exercise

5 Managing long-term absence effectively

  • Effective strategies to tackle long-term absence
  • Keeping in touch and providing support
  • Review meetings
  • Planned/phased return to work
  • Working with Occupational Health
  • Taking formal action
  • Dismissal

6 Legal implications

  • Unfair dismissal claims
  • Avoiding discrimination claims
  • Understanding what is a disability in law
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • Case law

7 What have we learned so far?

  • Interactive quiz to consolidate learning and highlight additional detail from policies, eg, sickness and holidays

8 Putting it into practice

  • Case studies to work on in small groups, looking at sensitive issues and identifying strategies and appropriate action – including challenging scenarios such as dealing with stress, pregnancy related illness, drug and alcohol misuse, ‘malingerers’, etc

9 And finally…

  • Action planning – identifying how participants will transfer this learning into the workplace and what else they may need which will help them to do this effectively
  • Review and close