Manage absenteeism at work

Irish small businesses lose more than € 563 million a year due to absenteeism, writes Avine McNally of the Small Firms Association. But what can you do to solve the problem?

Absenteeism refers to any absence from work other than annual leave, public holidays, maternity leave, jury tax and days off due to strikes and layoffs. These include days lost due to illness, prolonged absence, study and study leave, pity leave, civil and civil partnership leave and parental leave.

Address the problem
The first step in eliminating lost time is whether there is a problem and absence policy. This policy should be distributed to all employees and clearly indicate the notification and certification process so that employees have no doubt what is acceptable in the workplace. In this way, management can be consistent and treat all employees fairly and fairly.

The management and monitoring of attendance lists is essential for management to assess unacceptable absences. These attendance lists should be complete and contain detailed information, including trends, types, and absences.

Calculation of absenteeism
The nationwide average absence is eight days. In small companies, however, the average is five days. The following calculation can be used to calculate absences:

Number of days absent during the study period ÷ The total number of working days X 100 possible during the study period is possible

(Working days include the number of days in a year, less Saturdays and Sundays, except part of the working week, public holidays and public holidays.)

To counter the problem
Management will often report absences as part of the company’s disciplinary policies. Absence of absenteeism accounts for a significant proportion of the claims made before the Employment Appeal Tribunal, and each case is judged on the basis of merit.

Absences generally fall into two main areas due to absences: disability and driving.

An employer has the right to expect a worker to participate regularly and appropriately. If an employee can not attend regularly or at a level deemed appropriate by the employer, the employee’s employment contract can be terminated because he can not fulfill his employment contract.

In the event of incapacity for work, the employer must be extremely careful to treat each case individually and to take all circumstances into account.

Short-term absence – Intermittent short-term absences are usually the most problematic and can often lead to a mix of complaints. Such absences tend to cause more disruption than long-term absences when an employer typically makes other arrangements for workers.

For short-term absences, it is appropriate to follow the company’s usual disciplinary procedures. In this type of absences, however, the employer must demonstrate that absenteeism tends to be higher than the norm, that absenteeism is a source of problems and that all reasonable action – advice, warnings and opportunities for improvement – has been met. been taken

Long-term absence – If a worker is absent for an extended period of time, the employer’s main concern is whether he or she can return to work and whether he or she can return regularly. , If it is determined that the employee is unlikely to return to work, the employer may decide to continue employment.

The decision to terminate employment in the event of a long-term loss of work is usually made on the basis of a medical opinion, the condition of the worker and his future prognosis with a “date of return to work”.

In case of prolonged illness-related absence, it is essential to maintain a written contact with the employee throughout the entire time. It should be noted that judicial decisions normally provide that a period of 12 to 18 months before the dismissal of a worker from long-term leave has expired.

Regarding absenteeism, the management must:

Be informed immediately about the absence.
To be informed by the employee.
Management may require employees to provide information about their absence / illness. This usually takes the form of a doctor or hospital certificate.
Adhere to absenteeism and payment procedures.
Employers should apply these requirements consistently and in strict compliance with fair procedures.
Illness of good faith
As a rule, an employee on sick leave is unable to work and should not carry out any other occupational activity that might conflict with his or her absence on sick leave. If an employee performs such an activity, he may be dismissed. Again, one has to be careful: Can the company prove that the employee was performing other activities? Your word against the employee’s would not be enough. If an employee who has undergone a disciplinary action has committed culpable conduct, the employer is entitled to dismiss him.

Offer another job
A common problem is whether the employer must provide an alternative “light” job to an employee who can no longer perform the job for which he was originally employed. The general rule is that the employer has no legal obligation to provide replacement work. However, account should be taken of how long the worker will require this form of work and what the temporary provision of light work will be in terms of flexibility, availability and performance of the business.

The most effective way to avoid absenteeism is probably to encourage participation. This requires a look at the work environment, work organization, job satisfaction, labor relations, corporate morale and opportunities, training and promotion. ,

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