Managing absence and long term sickness

If you consider that your absence levels are too high, then you are likely to benefit from the introduction of an absence management system.

The system will include:

  • Return to work interviews
  • Automatic review of absence record where an individual has say 4 short term absences or an absence of 4 weeks in a rolling year
  • Use of disciplinary procedure in appropriate cases

Many employers falsely believe that if employee absences are covered by a doctor’s certificate then no action can be taken. As empoyees are there for a reason, unacceptable levels can be dealt with through a series of disciplinary warnings and ultimately dismissal.

Equally, employees on long term sickness can be dismissed, this time on the grounds of medical incapability. It is important to seek reasonable medical evidence and fully consult the individual before deciding on dismissal. Also the employer should consider whether reasonable modifications can be made to the job to allow the employee to return to work.

When dealing with any type of absence it is important to determine whether there are any underlying medical factors to avoid risks under disability discrimination legislation.


Without professional support employers often spend a lot of management time and still fail to achieve a successful outcome.

E-mail david@cedargbltd.co.uk to discuss how David can help you with his substantial knowledge and experience.

Case Study

Reducing absence levels in the office supplies sector

Our client who employs around 40 people was concerned about a rise in absence levels, particularly short term casual absence...

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