How to deal with Employee Sickness

I have just read some articles around employee sickness and how much it costs small businesses. During my time I have heard a multitude of excuses as for why someone cannot come into work, some obviously legitimate however it is sometimes difficult to see the truth from the ‘sickies’.

Reed.co.uk recently did a study into the top 10 excuses the people gave for pulling a sickie

Employer’s top ten most frequently heard excuses: 

1.       I’m sick

2.      A member of my family is sick

3.      I’m in A&E

4.      My phone battery died

5.       My dog is sick

6.      I was robbed last night

7.      I fainted on the way to work

8.      I don’t feel like going in

9.      I’ve broken my leg

10.    I’m locked out of my house

Working with small businesses who may only employ 1 or 2 people the impact on the average 7 ‘sickies’ per year could be huge.

If only I could wave a magic wand and give an answer on how to stop this from happening – I am afraid my fairy dust does not stretch that far – maybe that will make its way up to the top 10 list one day !

My advice

  • Make sure you spend the time to ensure that you recruit the right person – it might sound like a bit of a bore but taking the time to interview and complete a process of obtaining references could save you money and time in the long run.
  • Be flexible – as a small business you will have busy periods where it is all hands on deck but when you can let your team go a few minutes early or come in a little later – those small things do add up
  • Communicate with your team – get to know them what makes them tick and what does not you will soon see if they are not happy and generally that is when ‘sickies’ appear – you need to have a close-knit team around you that will be happy to roll up their sleeves and do things that ‘aren’t in their job description’.
  • Ensure you have a basic policy or process so that everyone knows what is expected of them.  When they need to supply fit notes for example.  It makes it a lot easier when you need to get someone like me to come and help.
  • Complete Return to Work Interviews for short term sickness and long term sick.
  • For a long period of absence seek advice from Occupational Health.

If you have something specific you want to ask then please just get in touch on 02382 025160.


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