Nearly one million workers off sick for a month


The Government has published figures confirming that 960,000 employees were absent from work for reasons of ill health for a month or more each year on average between October 2010 and September 2013.

Why are levels of sickness so high?

If there is no deterrent then employees will abuse the system. You should ensure that your employees have to personally telephone you before their normal start time to inform you of the fact of their absence and the reason for it. They should then have to call you every day until they provide a medical certificate. If you let your employees leave voicemails or send a text message you are making it too easy for them. All of this should be provided for within the contract of employment.

Do you have return to work interviews after each absence? This is another useful deterrent.

Finally, have a look at your sick pay scheme. Some employees see company sick pay as additional holiday entitlement and so use it in that way. If you only offer statutory sick pay save as to when you wish to exercise your discretion you are likely to find that levels of absence reduce.

If you would like any more information about how to reduce levels of absence in the workplace then please get in touch.