On average, people take 6.5 days’ unauthorised absence each year*. Unauthorised absence is where employees give no reason for the absence. This type of absence is hugely costly, as it is unpredictable, cannot be planned for and can be highly frustrating for customers and the employees left holding the fort. Such absence costs the UK economy a staggering £17 billion per annum*.
People are absent from work for the following reasons:
- they are ill;
- they feel unable to come in; or
- they are on authorised absence, such as annual holiday.
Remember, people may take time off because of personal circumstances, such as family or caring commitments. They may also take time off because of problems within the workplace, such as bullying, poor job design or employee relations.
At times, it may be necessary to deal with absence, lateness or poor timekeeping as a disciplinary matter.
Employers need to tackle attendance problems by carefully monitoring, measuring and analysing absence. By doing so, you can identify the true cause of absence and any locate any trouble spots, either with individual employees or within departments.
You should also put in place systems for reporting absence, such as requiring employees to phone in personally within 30 minutes of their usual start time. In addition, requiring employees to complete a self-certificate and attend a return to work interview shows employees that you take absence seriously and will not put up with people who abuse the system.
Contact us here if you need further advice on ay aspects of absence management.
*CBI Survey 2011