The business owner’s guide to absence management

This is why you need to keep a close eye on employee absence….

The bottom line is that absence costs you A LOT of money. In 2020, absence cost UK business owners approx. 7bn. Can you believe it?

While colds and flus are unavoidable and it’s expected for your employees to take the odd day off here and there, it is important to keep a close eye on how much absence could be costing your business.

How can you calculate the cost to your business?

You need to think about the knock-on effect.

Well, not only is their salary still being paid, but this causes a resourcing issue for you, their workload often falls on the shoulders of their colleagues, which can lead to decreased productivity, missed deadlines and possible disruptions to client relationships.

How you can track absence?

The easiest way for you to keep a close eye on absence is to track it using HR software like Breathe. Software like this allows you to automatically record, monitor and report on trends; giving you all of the insights you need to understand how much of an issue absence is to your business.

How you can understand the cause of absence in your business?

Carrying out return-to-work interviews is the easiest way for you to understand why employees are taking time off from work. In some cases, these interviews can be enough to make people think twice about pulling a sickie.

How to take action to reduce absence?

This will, of course, depend on why there is absence in your business. But those businesses that pay closer attention to the health and wellbeing of their teams typically see reduced absence rates than those who don’t.

For more information about managing absence, read our latest guide for business owners.

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If you need more guidance or advice after reading it, then please get in touch:


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