FIT NOTES - the cost of sick leave in the workplace
14th April 2010
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<p>Did you know that the cost of sick leave to organisations is on average around £500 per person per annum for the UK workforce*.  That’s not all though because when you also take into account the fact that the likes of you and I don't feature in this statistic (because we haven't had any sick leave) then the <strong>cost to organisations</strong> of actual absence of individuals <strong>can</strong> <strong>escalate to well over £1000 per person</strong>.<br /> <br />There are generally two issues to think about with respect to sick leave in the workplace.</p> <p>The first issue being that sick leave or absence is not monitored or reviewed and so regular patterns of absence are not identified. An example of this would the lack of a systematic recording of the fact that one of your team is regularly off on a Monday, or that they are frequently sick the day before/after a holiday?</p> <p>The second issue comes down to the simple fact that sick leave is often not managed by employers at all. This often stems from a mistaken belief that if an employee reports in sick then there is nothing that you can do about it, which is far from correct.</p> <p><strong>Policies and Procedures</strong></p> <p>Action can be taken to manage any individuals who work for you that have an unacceptable sickness patterns.  This could be a drastic as dismissing an employee for either short-term or long-term sick leave.  Such action does need to be compliant with legislation and you must ensure that your policies and procedures for sick leave, monitor and review of individual’s sick records are in place to make sure that this is the case.  Action taken must then follow the statutory Disciplinary process but action can be taken!</p> <p><strong>Fit Notes</strong></p> <p>The recent change to legislation means that <strong>from April 2010 ‘Sick Notes’ will be replaced by 'Fit Notes'</strong>.</p> <p>Fit notes will be issued by GPs who will say whether their patient is fit for work or not. They will indicate whether the patient is fit for some work but not other specific duties or suggestions about what temporary changes may be require to your employee’s duties and/or hours.</p> <p>The recommendations from the GP could be seen as reasonable adjustments under the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 and employers are required to take steps to consider the recommendations in any disciplinary action taken against an employee for absence due to sickness.</p> <p>An example of the new fit note can be viewed at:</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p>If you need further support or guidance with respect to:</p> <ul> <li>how the new Fit Note might affect your organisation;</li> <li>the writing and/or implementation of your policies and procedures for sick leave and absence monitoring;</li> <li>the review of individual’s sick records ...</li> </ul> <p>... then do contact me at <strong>DEMand Results</strong>  <a href=""></a> for a free no obligation discussion.</p> <p>For further information and contact details for Denise and <strong>DEMand Results</strong> use the folllowing link to <a title="Visit the DEMand Results on the bestof Hinckley" href="" target="_blank"><span style="COLOR: #ff6600"><strong>visit their feature on the bestof Hinckley</strong></span></a>.</p> <p><span style="FONT-SIZE: xx-small">* Source - a recent government report.</span></p>/1e21ade6-754f-485e-af6d-22ebf4bffc8b.jpg
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