Sickness Absence and Attendance Management

Despite the evidence that work is generally good for your health, absences from work due to illness or injury is often a fact of business life. We believe that as long as people are human beings, they will occasionally become sick and will require time off work to return to normal reserves and become well again.

The costs of Sickness absence cited by The Chartered Institute of Professional and Development (2009) suggest that UK employers spend an average of £692 per employee per year. Meanwhile, each employee has an average of 7.4 days absence per year, with the highest in the public sector (9.7 days) compared to that in the Manufacturing sector (6.5 days). Anecdotally, the commonest reasons for short term absence are due to minor ailments such as headaches, colds, flu and gastric upsets. Conversely, we have found the commonest reasons for long term absence from work include musculoskeletal disorders (such as back and neck, and shoulder pain) and mental health problems (such as Stress, Depression or Anxiety).

Attendance Management is crucial in keeping these costs to a minimum by developing strategies to improve the overall health of organisations as well as individual employees. In this modern climate, it is vital that companies can develop a partnership with their Occupational Health Provider in order to actively assist them in achieving decisive and effective outcomes.  

Pegasus Occupational Health can help you to:

  • Develop an effective employee absenteeism policy
  • Provide Management training on sickness absence and return to work interviewing
  • Undertake sickness absence consultations and give advice on absence cases and employee fitness to work
  • Act as a case manager to aid you as the employer in early rehabilitation of employees back to work following instances of ill health
  • Advice on aspects of the Equality Act 2010

Post Placement Health Screening

It is very important for companies to ensure that a new person being recruited is fit for a role and that working in the role will not be detrimental to their health.

In addition it will be important to you that you know a person’s health status in relation to such things as hearing if they are going to be working in a noisy environment to ensure that you are not blamed for deterioration in health that has actually happened previously.

For most work roles a basic health screening questionnaire is adequate to help determine whether:

  • The job is likely to adversely affect the individual’s health.
  • The job is within the individual’s physical and mental capabilities.
  • If the individual is fit for the job and the demands it may put upon the individual
  • By doing the job the individual would be a risk to themselves and/or others.
  • The prospective employer needs to be aware of any reasonable adjustments necessary to avoid the individual being placed at a disadvantage.

In addition if the person is working within a role that will require health surveillance, such as:

  • Lung function test
  • Skin inspection
  • Hearing Tests (Audiometry)
  • Hand Arm Vibration Assessments
  • Night Worker Assessments
  • Biological monitoring

These tests should be carried out following an offer of employment.

Job Specific Medicals

Certain work activities or environments requires employees to be screened for any health condition that may either be aggravated by work or precludes them from being fit enough to perform that work or enter the environment.

The purpose of Fitness to work assessment enables you to determine whether your employee is fit to perform the job or task under the stipulated working conditions. Fitness to work assessments are most often completed to determine medical fitness after injury or when the employee requires a fitness to work in accordance to best practice or Health and Safety Legislation.

Examples of Job/Task Specific fitness to work include:

Statutory Guidance/Best Practice
The Working Time Regulations (as amended 1998)
Confined Space Regulations (1997)
Working At Height Regulations (2005)
Safety in working with Forklift Trucks (2000)

Occupational Health Assessment required
Nightworkers Health Assessment
Confined Space Assessment
Working at Height Assessment
Forklift Truck Drivers Assessment

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