Odd Days Off Here and There

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People are genuinely ill and employers have an obligation to support staff who are suffering from their symptoms. A sympathetic employer will provide the required support necessary to enable the employee to return to work at the earliest opportunity. But what can an employer do to tackle the employee who takes odd days off here and there? They phone in with a cold one day and then a week later its flu symptoms, a couple of weeks later its diarrhoea after a dodgy curry the night before and then finally it’s the migraine from hell for another couple of days. Many employers don’t know what can be done. It’s affecting the business but the employee is genuinely ill (apparently) and everyone has odd days off now and again, don’t they? Why don’t you suggest to the employee that he visit his GP and check to see whether there’s any underlying illness that may be causing all these absences. If there is something underlying, then it can be diagnosed, treated and therefore improve the attendance rate. But if there isn’t anything underlying, then the onus is on the employee to improve their attendance. If their poor attendance is affecting the business, then the employer can justify expecting an improvement in attendance because after all, how can you support someone’s absence and encourage their return to work when the employee has no way of suggesting an improvement. The employee will realise they can either be managed by the Sickness Absence Policy or improve their attendance. Most employees will choose the latter.

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