In this section you will find...

An overview and introduction on Absence (below)

Guidance notes on absence

Article - Managing Absence - providing general guidance on how to manage absence

Medical capability 

The Bradford Factor (explanation notes)

Templates relating to Absence


Absence is a direct cost to any business - either in terms of 'sick pay', loss of productivity, or both.

The first step in reducing absence is to monitor it and to have a clear absence policy in place. Monitoring can be as simple as requiring employees to report absence and complete a relevant form before or when returning to work (see self certification form under templates).

Some organisations include trigger points in their absence policy - where a procedure is automatically started when absence reaches a certain level. Some organisations use measurements like the Bradford Factor to distinguish between short term frequent absence and long term absence.

Whatever your method, it is always recommended that you have a clear policy and that this is communicated. This starts with how you want employees to report absence. You should also make it clear that failure to follow the correct reporting procedure will be considered to be a disciplinary matter. This may sound hard, but you need to be informed in the right way, if someone will not be attending work. 

Sick Pay

All employees will be entitled to SSP (Statutory Sick Pay) if they qualify (e.g. they earn above the lower earnings limit and meet SSP requirements). Current SSP rates can be seen on the employment facts page. 

You may also have a Company sick pay scheme i.e. where you have contractually agreed to make further payments if someone is off sick. Your contract needs to be clear about sick pay arrangements as these can be a source of disputes.

For an SME it is prudent to confirm that only SSP will be paid (see contract of employment).

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