in three manufacturers say long-term sickness absence is on the rise,
accounting for 80 per cent of the total time lost from work.
managers feel ill-equipped to deal with the growing challenges of helping sick
staff get back to work, according to the EEF, the manufacturers organisation.
response, the EEF has published Fit for Work, a practical guide to help firms
maximise staff attendance, keep a lid on litigation and better manage a healthy
return to work for staff on sick leave for more than four weeks.
guide outlines six simple steps that companies should use to develop a culture
of good attendance, effective rehabilitation and improved health and safety:
• Define roles for senior, line and HR managers
• Identify priorities for action by absence measurement and risk assessment
• Involve and inform the workforce of company policies and new drives to
• Establish appropriate access to occupational health support
• Focus on rehabilitation, avoiding dismissal and ensuring a healthy return to
• Tackle frequent short-term absence, through return to work interviews,
enforcing procedures and training line managers.
Sayeed Khan, EEF Chief Medical Adviser, and co-author of the guide said:
“Maximising staff attendance has become a key performance indicator, but for
small firms in particular, practical support for dealing with sickness absence
is not often easy to obtain.
for Work cuts through the complexity of the law, makes sense of the medical
issues, and provides a complete solution to managing sickness absence,” he