Learning Outcomes To be successful in this theme you should be able to: • understand the role of absence management in human resourcing • discuss the causes of absence and absence policies • develop actions for short-term and long-term absence management
Absence management • Absence or attendance management is the development and application of policies and procedures designed to reduce levels of absenteeism.
The CIPD (2012) report on absence management • The average level of employee absence has fallen compared with last year from 7.7 days to 6.8 per employee per year.; • Public sector absence has fallen to the lowest level recorded for this sector since; • On average, public and non-profit employees have approximately two days more absence per year than their private sector counterparts. • Overall, more organisations report that their absence levels have decreased (41%) compared with the previous year than say it has increased (27%). • larger organizations have higher average levels of absence than smaller organizations;
Causes of absence Job situation factor: • interest, • stress, • frequent job transfers, • management style • physical working conditions, • work group size • work group norms
Causes of absence (cont.) • Personal factors: • younger employees • absence-prone people • Company policy factors • pay increases, • attendance improves, and • sick pay schemes
Categories of absence • short-term sickness absence • long-term sickness absence • unauthorized absence or persistent lateness • other authorized absences
Absence policies • methods of measuring absence; • the circumstances in which disciplinary action might be taken; • what employees must do if they are unable to attend work; • sick-pay arrangements; • provisions for the reduction and control of absence such as return-to-work interviews;
The Bradford factor= S x S xD • S = number of spells of absence in 52 weeks taken by an individualD = number of days of absence in 52 weeks taken by that individual. • Example:10 one-day absences: 10 x 10 x 10 = 1,0001 ten-day absence: 1 x 1 x 10 = 105 two-day absences: 5 x 5 x 10 = 2502 five-day absences: 2 x 2 x 10 = 40
Examples • Employee AHas 9 sickdays in a year, 4 are single day absences and 5 are in a block.S = 1(1) + 1(1) + 1(1) + 1(1) + 1(5) = 5D = 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 5 = 9score = 5 x 5 x 9 = 225 • Employee BHas 15 sickdays in a year, 3 blocks of five days.S = 1(5) + 1(5) + 1(5) = 3D = 5 + 5 + 5 = 15score = 3 x 3 x 15 = 135
Controlling short-term absence • return-to-work interviews • trigger mechanisms • disciplinary procedures • training line managers • extending the scope for flexible working
How do you deal with long-term absence?http://www.cipd.co.uk/binaries/absencemantool4.pdf If an employee has been absent from work for an extended period, the employer needs to consider questions such as: • Do you know when the employee is likely to return to work? • If not, what steps can you take to investigate this and obtain a clearer prognosis? • If so, are there any practical steps you can take to help the individual return to work sooner? • What support and contact is appropriate while the individual is absent? • What actions should you and/or the employer take to prepare for the return to work at the appropriate time? • What support might the individual require following his or her return to work?
What steps can you take to assist an employee’s return to work? Checklist of potential steps • Can you provide a phased or supported return to work? • Can you modify, temporarily or permanently, the individual’s work activities or circumstances? • Can you remove or reduce any elements of the job (physical job) • Can you provide any special equipment to support the employee’s return to work? • Can you make any practical changes to the individual’s work location, premises or hours?
How do you respond if the employee appears unlikely to return to work within a ‘reasonable’ timescale? • What legislation should you be aware of? • What is likely to constitute a ‘reasonable’ dismissal? Dismissal in cases of long-term absence A fair procedure for handling the dismissal of long-term sick employees consists of • consultation with the employee • medical investigation • consideration, where appropriate, of alternative employment before dismissing.
Summary • Controlling absence is a resourcing issue in that it is concerned with making effective use of the organization’s human resources. • To deal with absence means to understand the causes of absence and to adopt absence management policies, to measure absence and to implement the procedures for the management of short-term and long-term absence.
Summary (cont.) • The most common measurement is the percentage of time available that has been lost due to absence. • Bradford scores are a way of identifying individuals with serious absence.
Summary (cont.) • A return-to-work interview is held between the manager and the employee after any length of absence, even one day. • The best way to manage long-term absence is to keep in contact with employees by letter, telephone or visits to discuss the situation and, where possible, plan the return to work.
Case Study Read the case: “Overcoming Absenteeism at Unique Schweppes Ltd” Answer the questions: • In your opinion, which alternative steps would be more effective for reducing absenteeism? • What is the role of non-financial incentives over the financial incentives? • How do you evaluate the impact of termination on absenteeism?