Absence has tremendous impact to smaller businesses and it becomes crucial to manage absence effectively. According to the Federation of Small Businesses, small companies are the massive sufferers from employees taking periods of short-term absence. It is reported that long-term absence can hold an expensive corner, creating huge problems.

In 2020, a new study by Westfield health proclaimed that absenteeism cost UK businesses £14 billion

The preliminary report is that small businesses are less likely to observe sickness absence and proactively manage it. This probably happens due to competing priorities or a shortage of proper knowledge in dealing with similar situations, specifically when the business owner knows the employee well.

Why Estimating Absence Is A Good Idea? 

The Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development instructs that all companies ought to record the employee absence. The staff needs to complete a self-certificate for the sick leave for less than a week and must submit a doctor’s fit note for longer absences time. These documents are later required for Statutory Sick Pay purposes.

Why is this essential? Absolutely, it’s not easy to recall that “employee X” was on sick leave for a couple of weeks ago and is now off sick again. It’s not obvious that “employee Y” manages to be off sick after holidays or on an occasional day. So, that’s where tracking the leave helps you decide and manage the cases. 

There are numeral ways of calculating absence like the frequency rate, the lost time rate, the individual frequency rate and the Bradford factor. For an easy working pattern, choose only one way of calculating sickness and stick to it. “The lost time rate” method is the most used option by companies that informs you the working time in percentage been lost to absence during a certain period of time. 

Tips to Decline & Manage Absence

The outlay of sickness absence in 2019 stood at a median of £568 and an average of £544 per employee.

Understanding the driving aspects behind employee absenteeism and the solution to prevent it can aid employers to reduce the costs. Check out these 5 ways to help reduce cost! 

  • Trail employee absence 
  • Alter employee behaviour 
  • Help employees return to work 
  • Relieve office stress
  • Propose an excellent paid-time-off policy

Executing Trigger Points To Handle Managing Absence 

Establish an absence monitor 

The foremost initiative would be to enhance an automatic return to work call after any sick leave, whether it was for a day. Doing so should be titled as the very first step in a leave management system, where a follow-up is taken asking about their absence period and health. This process will indicate your care and also the updates being recorded. 

Employing the absence stages 

Adopting these triggers will minister employees consistently and follow the correct approach in different systems. For example, an employee who has a poor record of short-term absences and has no underlying health condition can be alerted that failing to improve their attendance will impact in disciplinary action. 

However, you can politely manage an employee with a problematic health situation by meeting with them and getting medical information from their doctors. The latter case aims to find ways to keep the employee’s return to work. Still, if this proves to be impossible, you will have the evidence you need to operate the capability process and overlook the employee for reasons of ill health.

Make the employees understand 

Ensure following both the methodologies implies results:

  1. Introductory Communication 
  2. Personal Communication 

Introductory Communication needs a description of the new absence stage where you communicate to the employees about the absence stage and appreciate their essence in the company. 

Your message should emphasise the supportive side and intend to focus on employees’ healthiness and well wishes of employees. Nevertheless, you must also get the message across that good attendance is vital to the business’s success.

Personal Communication needs a description of a similar message on the individual note compressing the details and implementation more politely. This enables a more personal relationship with the employees emphasising the fairness and consistency of the absence management process. This communication will make this system work easy, even in difficult situations.


Embracing these triggers and targets has been demonstrated to reduce absence levels overall. But Just reducing the absence rate isn’t overall impactful; hunting the absence rate is more essential. So, to track the leave and absence of your employees, look no further than ScheduleLeave. 

A smarter, easier and digital-rich solution to effectively track employee leave & absence rates.