A Guide To Absence Management

Reduction of people who are ‘on the sick’ can be made by implementing an Occupational Health policy along side the companies Health and Safety policy.
Unfortunately, most business do not pay as much attention to Occupational Health and yet it is just as important as safety at work.

Absence management is nothing new and good employers who care about their employees will have access to this specialist health care field. The OH specialist will advise each individual company what their needs are. This will implement the support of an occupational health management programme that will prevent most employees from going off sick in the first place!

Getting people back to work after a long illness is often very worrying for the employee. This is why early contact by the manager after sickness has been notified is so important.  The employee can then discuss any problems in the workplace.
The success of an eventual return to work often follows this. Once adjustments or alterations to the job have been made, or even a complete change of job, an employee can sometimes return earlier than anticipated and they feel less anxious about it. Re-habilitation plans or phased return to work can help the employee return comfortably and the company to comply with legislation.

In today’s increasing legislative world, having access to good quality Occupational Health advise is fundamental to effect bottom line value for the business. There is an increasing amount of legislation that employers must do to prevent ill health in the workplace. It is also fair to say that employees who are injured or made ill away from the work place must also be accommodated and risk assessed against any hazards of the work they do, on return to work. If this is not prepared, then insurance premiums and claims will become costlier.

Most employers would benefit from having at the very least basic new starter assessments. After all, people come to work healthy and this should be maintained by consistent monitoring of the hazards employees are exposed to. They should not be exposed to a work environment that could have the potential to harm health.

Advise for Employers: –
I would urge all employers to take advice from an occupational health specialist. The HSE has plenty of guidance and is currently focused with the DWP on finding way to reduce this problem. Sickness absence can be controlled by each business using ‘best practice’ advice from an appropriately qualified Occupational Health Specialist i.e. someone who is trained and hold’s the OH qualification. It is also worth asking the specialist for a track record of previous success.

Advise for employees: –
Talk to your employer while you are off work. Keep regular up-dates about your progress and discuss any problems at work you envisage. Talk to your GP about the type of work you do. Work when well managed is good for your health, but staying off work can make you feel worse. Just ask for the support.