Poor Absence Management is Damaging Welfare & Productivity

Whilst reading this excellent report by Ellipse and Professor Cary Cooper, CBE, I was struck by the staggering cost of absenteeism on UK business, some £32 billion a year according to PwC, 2011. As an aside I also learnt a new word ‘wickie’, which by the way is a ‘working sickie’ (adapted from sickie).

Besides the financial cost of not actively managing absence, early intervention can improve people’s health as well as reducing the employer risks associated with long-term illness according to the Ellipse report.

Critical is an employer’s ability to track and monitor employee absences. Prof Cooper says: “Any employer who is not able to cite their absence rates is failing to control their risks and may well be neglecting employee welfare.”

Similarly while recording absence assists with managing absences, well configured workflows based on specific milestones could assist managers and HR to manage absences according to the companies’ absence policy. Prof Cooper states in the Ellipse report that while nearly all (90%) line managers say that a formal procedure exists, nearly half (41%) admit that they do not follow it though.

http://www.ellipse.co.uk/images/pdf/SickNotesReport.pdf

With more and more employees adopting flexible working arrangements (e.g. working from home)it also makes tracking absence more challenging, but at the same time Prof Cooper says that flexible working would reduce the hours lost to sickness.

http://www.ellipse.co.uk/images/pdf/SickNotesReport.pdf

A Personnel Today article suggest more detailed steps to take to better manage absence.

If you are looking to reduce your international absence rates and enjoy better reporting that provides immediate benefits for your organisation then call Tugela People.