Sickness and absence in the workplace is something which we, as managers have to deal with regularly; whether it be our own staff or staff in another department, sickness and absence have a serious knock on effect on the business as a whole.

1. Have a formal sickness and absence policy

2. Do not let it slide regardless of how busy you re or what the circumstances

3. Ensure all members of staff are held to the same standards

4. Make sure you as a manger sticks to the rules

5. Try to be fair and understanding, there is always time for empathy and sympathy as a manger

6. Do not be guilted into

I have worked for some very unsympathetic managers in my day, managers who put the business first regardless of the staff circumstances. Although sickness can cause some serious issues with staffing levels in the work place, it is important to make sure you understand your staff and take care of them.

Parenting as a management skill is not recommended but

Have a formal sickness and absence policy.

This may seem fairly obvious and if you work for a large company then it is likely that their HR department will already have a detailed and comprehensive policy in place. However; if like me, you work for a relatively small company and you are the HR department, then I recommend making sure you have a policy in place and that it is being adhered to.

Most sickness and absence policies are quite straight forward and simple.

Step 1. Phone in before your shift is due to start to inform you manager you will not be in work

Step 2. If you are going to be off for more than three days then a sick note from the GP is necessary to be eligible for SSP

Step 3. Keep in contact with your manager informing them when you will be well enough to attend work

Step 4. When you return to work you will be required to fill in a ‘back to work’ form and possibly have a ‘back to work’ interview

Now it is worth bearing in mind that some companies will allow you to text in when you will not be attending work. This is a double edged sword though as it can lead to staff taking the piss.

Personally, I don’t mind a member of staff texting me in the first instance, I am more likely to read a text first thing in the morning than I am to answer the phone. If the member of staff calls me at 5.30 to inform me that they will not be attending work that day, they will have to leave a message, I will not be awake and I will not be answering the phone, they will be forced to leave a voicemail. The policy put in place in our office is that you should text in the first instance and phone in as soon as you can during office hours to speak with one of you line managers. This seems to work well for us as it doesn’t involve any early morning phone calls.