High levels of employee absence can be very costly to a business. They can result in lost productivity, low staff morale and a reduced standard of business service. If not properly managed, employers can find the problem escalating and even find themselves being taken to an Employment Tribunal.
One important factor in managing absences effectively is having attendance and absence policies in place to help employees understand what standards are expected of them and to help managers deal with these issues in a fair and consistent way. If employees know that absence will be dealt with in a consistent manner, they are less likely to take time off work without proper cause.
We can ensure your business has up-to-date attendance and absence policies and advise on absence reporting and recording. We can also advise on dealing with persistent absenteeism or long term absence ensuring that you comply with all legal obligations.
Where an employee has a disability, they are protected by the Equality Act 2010 which requires you to make reasonable adjustments to disabled employees’ working arrangements or conditions to make sure they are not treated less favourably than other employees. Employees whose injury or poor health persists may be eligible for protection under the Equality Act 2010. This will often mean you are under a positive obligation to assist long term absentees in coming back to work. We can advise on this important area.
It is perfectly legitimate to take action, and ultimately perhaps dismiss, employees due to repeated absence or long term incapability to work, but to be able to resist any Employment Tribunal claims, you need to follow a fair process, consult with the employee, usually obtain medical information, and consider the issue of adjustments (as above) if there is reason to think the employee may have a disability as defined in the Equality Act.
These issues are complex, however the employment team at BTO will ensure that you have the necessary expertise on your side to handle absenteeism effectively and avoid issues escalating or becoming a distraction to your business. You can be confident in the knowledge that your sickness management process is structured, consistent, clear and fair.
We offer straight talking, commercially sound, business focussed advice. Based in Glasgow and Edinburgh, we cover the whole of Scotland and beyond. Our highly rated employment law team has an excellent reputation and you can be confident that you have the necessary expertise on your side to guide you every step of the way from consultation to final solution. We can also offer ongoing HR support and advice. Our aim is to provide you with the correct commercially targeted advice that will save you time and money.
We cover all aspects of law including corporate, commercial, personal matters and litigation. For all your legal needs, we’ve got them covered. For more information please visit www.bto.co.uk
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