Employee absence is a significant cost for many organisations, yet research suggests that only a third of employers monitor that cost. Employees may need time off for a variety of reasons, from short-term sickness to maternity leave or public duties. Effective absence management seeks to support the needs of employees while providing clear and consistent guidance to avoid unauthorised absence or inappropriate use of sick pay schemes.

This factsheet takes a closer look at sickness absence, the reasons for it, and its implications for organisations. It offers guidance on how businesses can measure absence, what organisations should include in their absence policies, and practical advice on how to manage short and long-term absence. Finally, it outlines the legal position when addressing unacceptable absence.

CIPD viewpoint

Why absence from work matters

Measuring absence

What absence policies need to contain

Managing short-term absence

Managing long-term absence

The legal position


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