Dealing with employee absence this summer

By Nancy Prest
18th June 2013

Ok – so we don’t often get long hot sunny spells during a typical British summer, but when we do, most people want to make the most of it.

In most cases employees will put in holiday requests as part of their annual leave. However, sometimes an employee decides to take a few extra days off without authorisation. Unplanned absence costs UK businesses up to 16% of payroll in a normal year according to the Institute for Employment Studies report. During festivals or major sporting events, such as last years’ Olympics, this increases dramatically.

The best way to overcome this is to plan for busy periods and make your expectations clear to your employees. Let’s look at a number of ways to reduce and manage unplanned absence:

  • When festivals and events are on the horizon, remind employees that unauthorised absence is a disciplinary offence and will not be tolerated.
  • Encourage employees to submit holiday requests early to avoid disappointment
  • Make sure that your absence policy is clearly communicated and the potential consequences of non-compliance set out.
  • Keep accurate and up-to-date records of attendance records to highlight any absence patterns in appraisals.
  • Get into the habit of holding return to work interviews with employees after any period of absence.
  • See it through – having set out expectations clearly, effectively manage absence and non-compliance and initiate disciplinary procedures where applicable.
  • If appropriate – embrace it! Use any major events to create some employee goodwill with themed days and competitions, or even a TV or radio in the staff room for those ‘can’t be missed’ sporting moments.

An extra day of fun is just too tempting for some employees, but periods of unauthorised absence should be addressed as soon as they occur and in the proper manner. This is important to show both the individual concerned and the rest of your workforce that you’re not going to accept it.

For more details about how Doodle HR can help you with employee absence, please feel free to call us on 07960 223696, or fill out our quick contact form. We are also on Facebook and Twitter.

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