Sickness Absence Toolkit

Sickness Absence affects productivity and therefore the businesses, ability to provide efficient and high-quality services

Absence is a major concern for every employer with employees been absent with little or no notice. “Taking a sickie” may also be used by staff to deal with personal matters, attend job interviews, or have a day off due to lack of motivation. It can also be a response to bullying, harassment or stress. Some ill-health can be due to working conditions, and accidents are also a major cause of time off work.

The ONS published their annual sickness absence survey in April 2023. This is one of the largest absence surveys carried out in the UK and there are some very interesting facts.

The main points from the report are:

  • The sickness absence rate (the percentage of working hours lost because of sickness or injury) increased to 2.6% in 2022, an increase of 0.4 percentage points from 2021 and up 0.7 percentage points from its pre-pandemic 2019 level. It is now at its highest point since 2004, when it was 2.7%.
  • The average number of working days lost per employees had remained relatively flat in the 10 years preceding the Covid-19 Pandemic, but in 2022 it rose to a record high of 5.7 days.
  • The most common reason for sickness absence in 2022 was minor illnesses, accounting for 29.3% of occurrences of sickness absence. This was followed by “other” conditions at 23.8%, musculoskeletal problems at 10.5%, respiratory conditions at 8.3% and mental health conditions at 7.9%.
  • Groups with the highest rates of sickness absence in 2022 included women, older workers, those with long-term health conditions, people working part-time, and people working in care, leisure, or other service occupations. All age groups experienced increases in their sickness absence rate in 2022.
  • At 4.9%, the sickness absence rate for those with long-term health conditions, those absent for a continuous period of 4 weeks or more, is at its highest point since 2008, when it was 5.1%. The number of days lost to sickness absence for those with long-term health conditions is now at a record high of 104.9 million days.

This Sickness Absence Toolkit provides guidance on:

  • Legal Considerations
  • Rights Under the Employment Contract
  • Drivers of Absence
  • Common Causes of Sickness Absenteeism
  • Measuring Absence
  • Model Sickness Policy
  • Sickness and Relationship with Other Policies
  • Managing Short Term Sickness Absence
  • Return to Work Meetings
  • Unsatisfactory Levels of Absence
  • Absences That May Not Genuinely Be For The Reason Given
  • Long Term Sickness
  • Disability and the Equality Act (reasonable adjustments)
  • Managing a Phased Return to Work
  • Dismissal on Grounds of Ill Health
  • Seeking Medical Advice
  • Miscellaneous Absence Issues
  • Attendance Incentives
  • Employee Assistance Programmes

Total pages: 91
Last updated: August 2022

The Sickness Absence Toolkit contains the following template documents to support the guidance notes:

  • Sickness Policy
  • Frequent Sickness Flow Chart
  • Long Term Sickness Flow Chart
  • Telephone Absence Record Form
  • Self Certification Form
  • Med3 Fit Note sample (medical certificate)
  • Return to Work Meeting Record
  • Guide to Conducting Return to Work Meetings
  • Absence Monitoring Form
  • Letter to Employee Requesting Medical Certificate
  • Letters Confirming Persistent Absence Stage 1, 2 and 3 Meetings: invitation, confirmation of meeting outcome with absence improvement notice and removal of stage 1 absence improvement notice
  • Confirmation of Dismissal for persistent absence
  • Invitation to appeal meeting
  • Confirmation of appeal decision
  • Invitation to Consultation Meeting – long term ill health
  • Letter to Employee Regarding Home Visit – long term ill health
  • Sample Questions For Home Visit – long term ill health
  • Letter to Employee – not at home as arranged – long term ill health
  • Request Authorisation To Seek Medical Repot – long term ill health
  • Model letter to GP – long term ill health
  • Letter to Employee inviting them to a meeting to discuss medical report
  • Confirmation of Dismissal long term ill health
  • Notice of an Appeal Hearing
  • Confirmation of Appeal Decision
  • Condolence Letters: Employee Admitted to Hospital and Death of a Family Member
  • Letter to Employee Confirming SSP coming to an end

All the supporting materials are created Microsoft Word so you may easily save them to your PC, amend them to suit your business style and then use them time and time again.

How Much Does The Sickness Absence Toolkit Cost?

Excellent value at only £75.

How To Order Your Sickness Absence Toolkit

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Once your payment has cleared, you will receive an email with a link to download your copy of the Sickness Absence Toolkit and any other titles you choose to purchase.

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