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Short Term Absence & AWOL

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Emma Langford

on 21 March 2018

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Transcript of Short Term Absence & AWOL

HR Bite Size Training
Short Term Absence & AWOL

Job Title
Length of service
Provide a clear understanding of our policy & procedures with regard to attendance management
Identify the triggers for Short Term absence
Clarify your role and responsibility in managing attendance
Explain the process for dealing with AWOL employees
Ensure that you have the knowledge to manage attendance legally, consistently, fairly and effectively within your teams
We will cover...
What is Short Term Absence?
The Short Term Sickness Process
Return to Work Interviews
Recording Absence
Intervention Techniques
Other Types of Leave
Case Studies
Why does it matter?
Average cost of absence is £600 per employee
Within our London business, this equates to approx. £900,000 p.a
Investing in better absence management practices can drastically reduce this cost!
What is 'Short Term' Absence?
Definition = any absence lasting LESS THAN 4 WEEKS

Trigger = 3 separate spells in a rolling 6 months
Process - Step 1
Employee calls Manager to report sickness

Step 2
Employee provides Self-Cert Form / Fit Note
Manager conducts Return to Work Interview
Step 3
Have they hit the Trigger?
Step 4
Is there an underlying condition?
Request consent
to contact GP /
OH Referral
Letter of Concern
What documentation
is required?
UK Fit Note
(More than 7 days)
Self Certification Form (7 days or less)
Food Handlers Questionnaire
(After all Sickness & Holiday)
vs. Consequences*
Step by Step*
Why is it important to hold Return to Work Interviews?*
Benefits of RTW Interviews
Make the employee feel valued & cared for
Help to identify absence in its early stages
Resolve underlying concerns before they worsen
Help to track absenteeism
Reduce non-genuine absence by acting as a deterrent
Accountability – plan of action!
Return to Work Interview
Why is it important to record absence on MyView?
Recording Absence
Reasons why it’s important to record absence & update MyView:

We're taking account of their remaining sickness entitlement
Employees are paid correctly
You can monitor frequency and trends
You have the facts available when addressing the absence issue
Helps to deter those who are not genuinely ill
Allows us to benchmark against our competitors
Helps to ensure that every employee is treated fairly and consistently
How can we reduce sickness absence?
Intervention Techniques
Recording absence – able to track patterns
Use of trigger mechanisms
Return-to-work interviews
Providing leave for family circumstances
Flexible working
Occupational health professionals
Disciplinary procedures
Employee Assistance Programme

Other types
of leave?
Other Types of Leave
Maternity Leave (OML = 26 weeks, AML = 26 weeks, up to 39 weeks SMP)
Paternity Leave (OPL = 2 weeks, SPL = 50 weeks)
Adoption Leave (same as maternity leave)
Parental Leave (18 weeks for children up to 5)
Bereavement Leave (1 week paid)
Emergency Leave (unpaid)
Compassionate Leave (unpaid)
AWOL (unpaid - potential gross misconduct)

What should you do if someone goes AWOL?
AWOL Procedure
Try to contact them & their next of kin (keep record)
Consider individual circumstances (length of service etc.)
Stop pay on MyView
After 3 days, send 1st AWOL letter
After 1 week, send 2nd AWOL letter
After another week, send final AWOL letter
If they return to work, hold investigation meeting
Remember – unauthorised absence is a gross misconduct offence

Case Study 1
Lucy has worked at your site as General Assistant for 4 years. She text you this morning to say that she had a headache and wasn’t able to come to work. When you checked her records, you noticed that this is her 3rd spell of absence in the last few months; she was off with back pain two months ago and a sore throat last week. She received a ‘Letter of Concern’ for her absence 4 months ago.

What are the next steps that you would take?
What are the potential risks?
What would be the possible outcomes?

Case Study 2
Helen has been employed at your site for 3 years as a Supervisor. She was off last week and sent in a Fit Note for ‘stress’. This came as a surprise as she hasn’t been off sick for years and you didn’t think she was showing any signs of being stressed. She is due to return to work this morning.

What are the next steps that you would take?
What are the potential risks?

Case Study 3
Kamal is a Chef who has been employed at your site for a year. He was off work last week for two days, as he was suffering from a migraine. According to your records, he has been off work with a migraine four times in the last 6 months. You arrange to meet with him for a Return to Work Interview.

What are the next steps that you would take?
What are the potential risks?

Case Study 4
Alex is a Kitchen Porter at your site who started 6 months ago. For the last 3 days, he hasn’t turned up for his shift. He text you on the 2nd day to say that he wasn’t feeling well but hasn’t returned your calls. Your General Assistant claims that he’s seen Alex working in a local pub.

What are the next steps that you would take?
What are the potential risks?

Case Study 5
Ahmed is the Assistant Manager at your site and has been employed for 3 years. Yesterday, he called in to say that he had been up all night being sick and couldn’t get out of bed. This morning, your Head Chef, Phil, claims that he saw photographs of Ahmed at Alton Towers with his girlfriend, that were put up on Facebook last night.

What are the next steps that you would take?
What are the potential risks?

Certification - Self-Cert Form / Fit Note
Return to Work Interviews
Record all absence on MyView
Trigger Point
Underlying Conditions
Full transcript