How to Manage Employee “Sickies”

With the summer season upon us, employees in swathes will book a week or two away in a hot country to rest and recuperate. However there will also be some employees for whom the hot weather is an excuse to pull a “sickie” and spend the day enjoying the sunshine or attending outdoor pursuits.  Today’s blog focusses on how to manage unauthorised absence in the form of “sickies”.



Managers will be used to seeing unauthorised sickness absences rise when popular sporting events take place. If this is a common occurrence in your office, it would be worthwhile preparing for these dates in advance and where possible avoid putting large deadlines around this time. Why not try and turn a negative into a positive? If your staff desperately want to watch popular sports games and this always sees a rise in sickies, why not show the games on the TV in your staff room for them to watch in their breaks.



Employees who call in sick often for only one day at a time can easily be caught if you have a strict process in place for recording absence. The formal procedure will involve the completion of a return to work self-certification form or return to work interview.  You can record this on a spreadsheet to recognise trends and members of staff who have higher levels of absence than the rest.  If your employees know that their absences are recorded and monitored, and that there are consequences to their actions then this is likely to deter future “sickies”.



A stringent process should also be in place for your employees to report their sickness absence. Generally employees should telephone their manager as early as possible on the day of the absence to explain the nature of the illness, the likely length of the absence and draw their attention to any work that needs urgent action. If an employee thinks that they will be “caught out” on the telephone then they will be less likely to try to take the day off.


TBOS members can discuss their sickness absence and payment policies with our team who can then take appropriate steps to adjust pay accordingly. To speak to us, please call 01582 349399.

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