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Annie Hayes

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HR fails to trust line on absence

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HR doesn’t trust line managers to provide accurate information regarding absence.

These are the findings of new research conducted by HR and payroll software provider MidlandHR, and people solutions provider FirstCare.

Nearly half of respondents said they can’t rely on managers to provide accurate information. This is despite the fact that line managers are increasingly being handed the responsibility of recording sickness (56% either on their own or jointly with the personnel department).

Interestingly, the research also found that 80% of the respondents agreed that line managers would be more accurate at reporting sickness if they were provided with more accurate information about its impact on their department.

Lawrence Knowles, managing director, Midland HR, said: “If line managers are entrusted with the responsibility of monitoring absence, it is of paramount importance that they have real-time access to the monitoring systems so they can make informed decisions on how best to manage it. This would provide them with accurate information as to the impact of absence within their teams and ultimately help businesses to properly assess the real impact of absence.”

When comparing the results to the study 10 years ago, the findings are mirrored. Their significance, however, has increased; more individuals are now unlikely to trust line managers (48% compared to 33%).

Talking exclusively to HR Zone, Pam Rogerson, from attendance software firm Absencesafe, said:

“One of the most serious issues affecting businesses today is staff absenteeism and it’s vital that accurate recording takes place.

“Employers must make sure that line managers with the delegated responsibility for checking absenteeism are doing their jobs properly, as well as implementing strict absence procedures where staff are questioned each time they’re off work.”

Rogerson added that with advanced methods of monitoring now available, managers no longer had an excuse for “shoddy recording”.


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Annie Hayes

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