Legislation overview

No one piece of legislation deals exclusively with absence management. However, numerous pieces of legislation have an impact on this area. For more information see our Absence procedures Q&As.

Absence management continues to be a vital issue for organisations. According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures which were published in October 2015, the UK economy lost 134 million working days to absence in 2014.

The statistics are available on the ONS website

Some absence is always inevitable. Motivation, good health and job satisfaction is crucial, and is the best way to manage short term absences. The following factors will help:

  • Pro-active manager led absence systems and procedures.
  • Good physical working conditions.
  • High health, safety and welfare standards.
  • Pro-active measures to support staff.
  • Training and teamwork.
  • Improving absence record-keeping systems.
  • Providing facts and figures on absence to line managers.
  • Pro-active absence management policies, including return to work interviews.
  • Enforcement of policies on equal opportunities and discrimination.
  • 'Work-life balance' policies including flexible working hours and varied working arrangements, if compatible with the needs of the organisation.

Q: How should employers treat short-term absence?

Q: How should employers manage long-term sickness absence?

Q: When do employees need to complete self-certification forms and when is statutory sick pay applied?

Q: What is a fit note and how should they be managed?

Q: What is the Fit for Work service and who does it apply to?

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