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Attendance management best practice

It is important for employers to adopt and implement an attendance policy, which should aim to encourage reliable attendance among all employees.

The procedure will be triggered when an employee reaches a certain level of absence, and will usually consist of a number of defined stages.

The important points for employers to remember are:

  • Where a stage of the attendance procedure is activated, the employee should be invited to a formal attendance review meeting, which may result in a warning for unsatisfactory attendance.
  • There must be clear rules on the reporting of all periods of absence, and absence levels should be consistently and accurately recorded and monitored.
  • Conducting return-to-work interviews is one of the most effective ways of facilitating reliable employee attendance.
  • In addition to compiling statistics on the number of days lost to absence, employers should establish why employees fail to attend work and consider ways of encouraging higher levels of attendance.
  • There should be consistency between attendance procedures and other policies and procedures.
  • Though there should be clear guidelines, it’s helpful for employers to maintain some discretion over the payment of sick pay. This allows management to decline or withdraw payment from a particular employee if there is a proper reason to do so.
  • It should be made clear that disciplinary action will be taken against employees who take time off work without good reason, proper notification or generally not following the proper procedures.