A local authority OH department is piloting a sickness absence recording system that helps keep track of staff who come into work, only to then go off sick or go home.
The OH unit of East Riding and Yorkshire Council has been testing the system within its social services department since June and plans to review it at Christmas. If successful, it could be rolled out across the whole business.
The OH department, which employs four OH nurses, two administrators and a part-time doctor, serves around 17,000 employees.
OH manager, Diane Grainger, said she hoped the pilot, which essentially provides an ‘audit trail’ for managers of all health related problems, would fill a gap in how sickness absence was recorded.
While it is relatively simple to keep track of people who called in sick, it is much harder to monitor people who came into work and then went home.
This was particularly the case in departments such as social services, where people would frequently be working under different managers and sometimes information on who was just out of the office or off sick did not get passed on.
The OH department has developed a simple form to help managers log people who become absent in this way and give guidance on what they should do next.
“The feedback we have had from managers so far is that they have found it really useful. It’s not rocket science, but it does give them a new tool,” said Grainger.
The form can monitor the health status of an employee, whether they are at work and having problems or are off work with health problems.
The system was also helping to prevent cases that should have been referred to OH, from becoming stuck in the system.