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Sickness absence monitoring

How to monitor the absence levels in your team as a line manager and the procedures you should follow.

Sickness absence monitoring

As a line manager, you are expected to monitor the absence levels in your team or area. This information can be accessed through iTrent on Manager Self-Service. The purpose of this monitoring is to identify:

  • trends and patterns of absence

  • any concerns arising from the number of occasions or days

  • sickness absence reasons

You are expected to instigate and carry out managing sickness procedures where appropriate. The purpose of these procedures is to work with the employee and to support them in improving their attendance.

If you are planning to instigate either the short or long-term sickness absence procedure, you should seek guidance from your HR Business Partner or Advisor.

If you become aware that a member of staff has an underlying health condition, they should be managed under the long-term sickness absence procedure process, as detailed in the sickness absence policy.

If you are concerned about an employee’s level of attendance or health

If you have concerns about an employee’s attendance or health, you should arrange to have a discussion with them so you can offer them support where appropriate and understand if there are any underlying causes for the absences that you need to be aware of. You should hold the meeting in a confidential setting. During and following the meeting you should:

  • use the Support Fair template for guidance on key topics to cover during the conversation
  • share the outcome of the meeting with the employee and ask them to confirm that the contents are accurate
  • ask the employee to confirm the accuracy of the notes in writing, and make sure they have a copy to keep for their records
  • arrange and hold a review meeting with the employee, usually within three months of the initial meeting

Short-term absence procedure

If a staff member has five occasions or 12 days of sickness absence (pro rata for part-time employees) in any 12-month rolling period and they have not informed you of an underlying health condition, they should normally be managed under the short-term sickness absence procedure. This is outlined in the sickness absence policy.

At this point, you should review their absence record to determine whether the short-term absence procedure should be initiated. It's your responsibility to address frequent short-term absences in a fair and consistent manner. You also need to provide the advice and support required to help an employee meet the expected level of attendance moving forward.

Keeping lines of communication open between you and an employee is vital, so that any health concerns which may have an impact on their performance at work can be discussed with you at the earliest opportunity.

Long-term absence procedure

If you have been informed that a member of staff will be absent for a continuous period of four weeks or more, or where periodic absences are linked to a health condition, their situation should normally be managed under the long-term absence procedure.

If an employee is expected to be absent for a period of more than four weeks, you should agree how often you will keep in touch with them throughout their absence and how this communication will take place. This will enable you to support the employee while they are unwell and provide them with the opportunity to update you about any changes to their situation.

If an employee has an underlying health condition or disability that might impact them at work, it's important that they feel able to approach you about it. Conversations about their health should be carried out sensitively. By understanding their health condition, you will be better equipped to offer the support they might require at work.

If an employee has an underlying health condition or a long-term absence, further advice should be sought from Human Resources. It may also be appropriate to refer them to Occupational Health.

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