Wrightway Health

The importance of Sickness Absence Management in a SME

What is Sickness Absence?


As the term suggests, sickness absence is when your employee is considered by themselves or their GP to be unfit for work due to illness or accident.  Sickness absence is totally unavoidable in any business that has staff.

Whether it’s a minor ailment lasting less than a week, something more serious and lasting several weeks, or an ongoing condition where absences are short but repeated and form a pattern.  Or perhaps an accident that happens out of the blue.  All of these things can and will prevent your employee being present for work.  And for many employers, particularly running a small to medium business, trying to work around sickness or unauthorised absences in the workplace can be very tricky.

It doesn’t get much easier even when sickness absence is planned and you know about it – such as in the case when one of your team requires surgery or a medical procedure.


The costs of absence are a serious business


“Every day lost carries a business cost, and organisations must better identify and manage the challenges of a changing workforce in order to redress the rise in absence we have witnessed since 2011…”

Dave Hope, CEO of First Care, workplace absence management specialists in a report for Centre of Economic and Business Research, 2017

The report shows that workplace absences cost the UK economy £18bn in lost productivity, showing an increasing year-on-year trend.  Predictions are that the cost of absence will increase to £21bn in 2020 and further increase to £26bn in 2030 show the importance of understanding your workforce and monitoring your absence levels to find out how much they are costing your business.


How to treat effectively


In any sized business, keeping your workforce in peak condition and effective absence management is essential and supports the needs of your team, whilst providing them with clear and consistent guidance to avoid unauthorised absence.

Be proactive.

Along with monitoring absence levels and keeping a record for each of your employees to see if any patterns form, have a clear policy in place and line up an Occupational Health specialist who understands and can step in to support you at the earliest stage.

As one of the leading Occupational Health specialists in East Anglia and with clinics in Norwich, King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth, Bury St Edmunds and Ipswich, we are on hand to help you.  Click here to read how.

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