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Great Yarmouth Mercury: The challenge of managing absence


By: Vicky Webber Date: 5 August 2016
Category: Great Yarmouth,Press Release,HR

Businesses rightly spend much time pondering how to increase the productivity of their staff, considering factors such as working patterns, technology and up skilling. However, too many ignore the thing that can reduce productivity to zero: absence. Managing staff absence can have a huge impact on efficiency, not to mention staff wellbeing.

When it comes to managing absence, most employers will immediately think of sickness and holidays, but in fact there are nearly 30 types of employee absence which can affect businesses. Some of these, such as holidays, can be planned, but many are unplanned. All of them impact on the business, not to mention fellow employees.

Employers and employees alike are often surprised about the types of absence which are not covered by law, such as taking time off for medical appointments, or bereavement. It is important that everybody knows what the policy is on these, and that the policy is applied consistently, not just for the sake of fairness, but because not doing so runs the risk of falling foul of the Equality Act.

Employers shouldn’t just be thinking about complying with the law, important though that is. Flexibility and compassion are increasingly expected in the workplace, and adopting such good practice will help attract and retain the best people.

It will also reduce the impact on the motivation and morale of those staff who are left to pick up the work when an employee is not there. If staff know that a fair policy is being applied equitably, the opportunity for resentment to fester is much reduced.

The key to managing absence is to have robust policies and procedures in place, and to ensure that consistency is applied when it comes to discretionary absences - in an age when attracting the best staff means embracing modern working methods, it means embracing flexibility, too.
 
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