Recent research conducted throughout the UK by CV-Library has suggested that one in seven employees are tempted to skip work during the upcoming Rugby World Cup; this could mean that 4.4 million of the UK’s 31 million employees may partake in unauthorised absences during September and October.As such during the World Cup companies may notice an increase in absenteeism as employees take time off (i.e. unauthorised time) to watch or attend matches (or to recover after watching matches). In many cases employees may report his/her absence as sickness. So how can employers minimise absenteeism in the workplace?
Absence Management Policy (Short Term Absence)As we all know poor attendance can have serious consequences on the overall efficiency of the company, and on the morale of other employees who are required to undertake additional work in the absence of colleagues. For this reason it is important to have robust absence management policies in place to ensure absenteeism is kept to a minimum all year round and in particular during large sporting events such as the World Cup. What should you have in place?
1. An Absence Notification Procedure that details: Who the employee should make contact with should he/she is unable to attend for work.§ The time before which the employee should make contact i.e. before 8.00am or at least 1 hour before his/her shift is due to start.§ The method of communication that they should use to make contact i.e. contact must be by telephone call and text messages / emails are not acceptable.§ That the employee should provide the reason why they are off and how long they expect to be absent for. If they do not offer this information the person with whom they speak should ask the reason for absence and expected duration.
2. Attendance Records: it is good practice for a company to keep records detailing each occasion of absence that each employee has and the reasons for same. This will allow any pattern of absence or re-occuring reason for absence to be identified and dealt with appropriately (e.g. ill health management or disciplinary proceedings).
3. Return to Work (RTW) Interviews should be conducted by the employees line manager on their first day back after absence (no matter how long they were off for i.e. 1 day or 41 days). By conducting RTW interviews after every absence, employees soon become aware that he/she will expected to provide an explanation for the their absence and this can help prevent unnecessary ‘sick days’ occuring. (Please note that we can provide you with a template RTW interview which can be used).
Other issues that could emerge around the World Cup:· Employees attending for work in an unfit condition (under the influence of alcohol or hungover)· Employees misusing the internet facility to follow the progress of matches.In order to combat the aforementioned issues it is important that you have policies and procedures in place; for example:· Email and Internet Policy that details if the company’s computer/internet can be used for personal use and if so the times at which it can be used i.e. during recognised break times. · Disciplinary Procedure that will highlight the potential consequences of a breach of any company policy i.e. “Unauthorised use of E-mail and/or the Internet” may constitute Major Misconduct and “Attending for, or being in an intoxicated state at work, or otherwise induced by alcohol, drugs or solvent abuse” may be classified as Gross Misconduct.
BeyondHR are a team of professional HR Consultants with offices in Northern Ireland and Glasgow, Scotland. We have more than 25 years proven experience of providing HR advice for employers including employment law support through our range of outsourced HR services. If you would like more information on this blog please do not hesitate to get in touch.