Director's Cut: A Director's Take On Business

Peninsula Team

July 22 2011

I’m Alan Price, employment services director at Peninsula. I want to talk about absenteeism and the affects it can have on businesses. It is a problem that all businesses have to deal with, no matter the size of the company. There are certain techniques to use when dealing with absenteeism that have proved successful for me.

Absenteeism can be a major problem for all businesses. Trying to keep your operation running; especially if you are a small firm can be difficult when you have workers who are off sick. So in order to combat the problem you need to be "fair, but firm" and have clear policies in place to deal with absenteeism. I want to share how I personally deal with absenteeism.

It is important to ensure that your workers realise that time off work can have a detrimental impact to your business. You and your employees are a team and when one employee is absent this adds extra pressure on co-workers.

It is important that you have a back to work meeting policy in place. When an employee returns to work they should sit down with their manager and explain the reasons to why they were absent. If there is a pattern of regular absenteeism then it is important to get the problem resolved immediately - this is where you need to be fair, but firm.

Obviously, you have to take into account genuine reasons for absenteeism. However, you also need to deter employees from taking time off work in the future; employees will realise that each time they call in sick they will need to have a "return to work" interview, this should act as a deterrent from taking time off work. When an employee calls in sick ensure that they speak directly to their manager, they should not leave a message with a fellow worker, they should have to speak to an authoritative person, again this acts as a preventive measure.

Remember if you don't have measures in place to deal with absenteeism then your employees will take advantage. Try my approach and see if it works for you. Also, remember that the majority of employees have genuine reasons for time off but by implementing tighter controls you will deter non genuine absenteeism from occurring. Let me know how you get on and by all means share your own methods of dealing with absenteeism. Email me at

If you have any questions please contact the Peninsula Advice Service on 0844 892 2772

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