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ACAS: Sickness absence management

In July 2023, ACAS updated its guidance on managing sickness absence in the workplace. The guidance covers a range of topics including:

  • Checking holiday entitlement and sick pay;
  • Fit notes and proof of sickness;
  • Time off for dependants/ parents;
  • Returning to work after absences;
  • Creating absence policies; and
  • Recording and reducing sickness absence. 

Here are some tips for employers from the guidance on how to manage sickness absence effectively.

  1. Contact during absence

Employers and employees should agree on how to stay in touch during absence and how much contact is reasonable. Employers should also inform employees who are absent about promotions, job opportunities and redundancies. This helps to maintain good relationships with employees and protect employers from discrimination complaints.

  • Return to work meetings

Return to work meetings can help identify the best way to manage sickness absence. They can help to identify any trends in absence across companies and identify underlying cause of absence.

  • Recording absence

Recording sickness absence can help employers to:

  • Find if there is a problem with absence levels;
  • Compare absence levels with similar organisations;
  • Identify the more common reasons for sickness absence in the organisation; and
  • Explore whether absence levels are highest in certain groups of employees.

Click here to access the guide: