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.