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Absent Without Leave

Latest figures show that we’re calling in sick more than ever.  With a UK average of 7.6 days’ leave per year employers are naturally concerned about the impact this absence has on their productivity.  

There are a number of things you can do to improve the ‘health’ of your workforce.  Firstly, we think it’s important to discourage ‘presenteeism’ – this is when people who are sick feel they need to come into the office and share their germs with everyone else!  If you provide a limited number of paid sick days per year (5 is a good number) then this might discourage the martyred snifflers.  Also, it’s good practice to have a ‘return to work’ interview – even if someone has only been off for a day or two.  People find it very hard to look you in the eye and talk about an illness that has been fabricated – so these interviews really help to reduce inauthentic ‘sickies’. 

You can also look at what might be underlying high sickness rates.  It could be an engagement issue or it could be a physical issue – uncomfortable chairs, for example, or insufficient time away from the desk.  As musculoskeletal problems are amongst the highest causes of sickness absence, we strongly encourage simple ‘wellbeing’ policies to keep your people fit and healthy.  

We also recommend that our clients review their benefits offerings and consider health plans that are holistic, preventative, and cost effective.  

For more information on how Ink HR can help you manage sickness and other employment issues contact Ruth at ruth.johnson@inkhr.co.uk or on 01858 565183