What Are Absence Trigger Points?

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employee illness
We’ve had a number of clients who have enquired about formalising their absence procedures with the introduction of absence trigger points.

There are different ways to deal with this such as using the Bradford Factor scoring system, the number of occurrences of absence within a period of time or the number of days of absence in a period of time.

No matter which system you select, you will always need to consider each case on an individual basis before taking any action.


The Department of Work and Pensions employed Mrs Carrabyne. She was disabled and suffered from hip problems and depression. She had received a final written warning for poor attendance levels but was absent from work for four days with gastric flu within six months of receiving the final written warning and her employment was terminated.

Mrs Carrabyne made a claim in the Employment Tribunal that the Department of Work and Pension had failed to make any reasonable adjustments by discounting the disability-related absences or extending the trigger points in her case and her claim was upheld.

The lesson from this has to be that employers should look at each instance of sickness absence and fully understand the situation before moving to dismiss an employee on the grounds of poor attendance.

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