Staying in touch with employees on long-term sick leave

Home visits can be an effective tool

Recent estimates suggest that workforce absence costs employers a staggering £700 per employee every year. This makes keeping in touch with an employee on long-term sick leave even more important as continued contact is a critical part of getting an employee back to work.

How does your organisation keep in touch with employees on long-term sick leave? Previous XpertHR research revealed the least popular methods of staying in touch are requiring an employee to attend a formal meeting at work and requiring them to phone at specified intervals. On the other hand, home visits are a popular and effective way of keeping in touch.

When done well, an employer can use a home visit to get an updated picture of the employee’s condition and explore how it can facilitate a return to work. It can also provide an opportunity to discuss specific adjustments that may help; for example, the temporary reallocation of specific job duties or reduced hours. A successful visit will leave an employee feeling empowered and supported. However, they are very easy to get wrong – listen to this week’s podcast on XpertHR for guidance on the basic dos and don’ts of home visits.

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