It is important that absence levels are monitored, as a high level of absence can be indicative of a wide variety of underlying problems (i.e. ill-health, low morale, personal problems). By dealing with the issues promptly, this not only reduces the level of absenteeism and the subsequent cost to the organisation, but also provides support to the individual(s) concerned, where necessary.
The capability health procedure explains the steps that should be taken when the reason for absence is ill health. Please contact your HR Partner for advice before using this procedure.
The sickness absence procedures explains the steps that should be taken when a member of staff is absent from work due to sickness. Managers should be aware that they need to notify Human Resources of all absences of half a day or more by forwarding a pink LSE Sickness Absence Notification form to the HR Pay team.
The policy on alcohol and drug misuse at work demonstrates the support that the School will provide, where a high level of absence is related to alcohol/drug dependency, where commitment to treatment has been given.
Where absence is due to stress/pressure, there are management guidance notes which should be referred to - see guidance on managing pressure at work. In such cases, please contact a member of the Employment Relations team for advice.
Absence may also be related to personal or domestic problems, for example breakdown in childcare arrangements. Managers should be aware that there are several types of staff support leave (including parental leave and leave for family emergencies) which can be used in such circumstances. Managers should also signpost staff to the Staff Counsellor - see the Staff Counselling Service pages for more information.
If there is no underlying reason for a high level of absence, then it may be necessary to use the relevant disciplinary procedure.