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Free online absence management tool available

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Tackling absence remains one of the most difficult problems for UK organisations to overcome – now the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Acas and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) have joined forces to develop a free, online absence management tool for line managers.

CIPD research has consistently highlighted the importance of line managers taking responsibility for managing absence.

But many small organisations lack HR support to help managers carry out this role and some larger organisations have said they struggle to provide line managers with the advice and knowledge they need for effective absence management.

The online tool covers managing both short- and long-term absence and includes information on such matters as policies, trigger points, conducting return-to-work interviews, liaising with individuals’ GPs, the Disability Discrimination Act and making reasonable adjustments.

It also provides more in-depth advice on how to develop an absence strategy and how to measure and benchmark absence levels.

Ben Willmott, employee relations adviser at the CIPD, said: “Employee absence is running at eight days per employee per annum at a cost to business of £600 per employee per year. Poor absence management impacts negatively both on business performance and employee wellbeing.

“This toolkit will provide a resource at the click of a mouse to help line managers make the right decisions when managing absence. It provides information on all the key aspects of absence management and will hopefully help employers put in place the right policies and procedures to manage short and long-term absence.

“High levels of employee absence incur hidden costs on productivity, on quality of service or product and customer satisfaction and loyalty. Not to mention the impact of absence on employees in terms of increased workloads and pressure on remaining staff, as well as on morale and staff retention.”

Bill Callaghan, Chair of the Health and Safety Commission, added: “The sustained health and well being of working age people is paramount and this calls for leadership and commitment from the top, as well as determination and innovation throughout the organisation. This tool, developed jointly by the CIPD, HSE and Acas, will facilitate this.”

Click here to go to the online absence management tool.

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