IceHrm Looking for an HR software for Your Company?
Dilanka Dilanka is a Business Development Manager at IceHrm. You can contact her at dil[at]

Absence Management and Why It’s Important

  Reading Time:

Absence management, as the name suggests, is the process of managing absences in your workplace. It's important to have a plan for dealing with absent employees, as having too many employees absent at the same time can be disruptive and costly. When putting together an absence management plan, you should consider how often your employees are absent, what percentage of your workforce needs to be represented when someone is absent, and whether or not there are consequences for the absence.

The most important thing you can do as an employer is to listen to your team members about what they need to feel more comfortable in their daily work. In this blog, we take a look at the best strategies for managing employee absence and explore their importance for employee productivity and engagement.

What is absence management?

Absence management is about reducing employee absences (usually due to illness or injury) through policies and procedures. To be effective, these measures and procedures must be communicated to both employees and managers, with management/HR playing a proactive role in applying these measures. Some companies prefer the term "attendance management" as it is viewed as more positive, and this can even go as far as rewarding employees for good attendance.

Why is absence management important?

The CIPD absence management survey found the following:

• On average, an employee is absent 6.9 days per year.
• Minor illnesses (e.g. colds/flu, stomach upset, headaches and migraines) are the most common causes of short-term absence
• The average cost of absence per employee was £554.
• Not only does employee absence come at a financial cost, but it can also cause disruption in the workplace and negative reactions from colleagues who may have extra work to do.

Absence management guidelines

Each organization sets its own standards for absences. Therefore, an absence policy should inform employees of these standards and let them know what is expected. An absence policy should provide a fair and consistent process that helps managers and HR manage absence and lets employees know how it will be measured. It should also include provisions to support employees and absence management methods, such as: flexible working.

Your absence management policy should describe the procedure to be followed in the event of an employee's incapacity for work and in cases of leave management. This also includes information about who, how and when to inform and what happens when you return to work, e.g. E.g. a work plan after a long absence or a discussion about returning to work after any period of absence.

There should be an explanation of the wage and salary arrangements, whether the organization pays the statutory minimum wage or increased sick pay for a specific period. The strategy should also explain what happens if absence becomes a problem and when disciplinary action may be taken.

Absence management data

Recording absence times with HR absence management software makes it possible to measure and compare data internally and externally. Internally, the data can be used to measure each employee's absence in accordance with the absence policy. For example, the Bradford factor is useful for highlighting frequent, short-term absences.

Employee absence management data can be compared to external benchmarks to see how a company's absenteeism rate compares to other companies in the same sector or similar size.

The results of absence management data can be used to shape the actions companies take to reduce absenteeism.

Absence management system and software

It can be difficult to manage such an important part of the business, but absence management software makes it easy.
Using an absence tracking system can make it easier to record absences, understand the causes of absences and analyze the data for underlying trends, such as a specific department having the highest level of absence.
The growing trend of employees working remotely has presented many challenges for employers. Not only does it increase the likelihood that an employee will miss work due to family emergencies or doctor appointments, but it also means the employer is unable to monitor their productivity at all times. This is another reason why a software tool is an excellent way to stay on top of absentees.
Feel free to check out our free tutorials to HR software.

Best practices for absence management and employee absence solutions

Managing different types of absences can be difficult. By setting up an absence management system, it is possible to effectively manage your company's schedule so that everyone gets the time off they need while maintaining the company's production levels.

Discussions about returning to work

Discussions about returning to work are considered the most effective way to reduce absenteeism. They open an early dialogue between workers and managers and make it possible to take precautions before a situation becomes a major problem. For example, an employee may need to change their working hours one day a week so that they can temporarily care for family members who are receiving medical treatment.

Bradford factor

Using triggers such as the Bradford Factor or other mechanisms, a review can be initiated with the employee and management when absence becomes problematic. These methods can be effective for short-term absences, but other approaches are required for longer-term absences.

Effective communication

In the event of long-term absence, communication with the employee is key, whether by telephone, letter or home visit, to understand the situation and plan the return to work, which must be adapted to each individual. However, in some cases affecting an employee's mental or physical health, a referral to an occupational health service may be required. In addition, professionals can assess the employee, make recommendations for workplace adjustments and submit a report to management/HR.

Employee support program

An employee assistance program (EAP) can also be useful in managing absence, as it often offers employees counseling that can help them overcome ongoing issues.

Disciplinary action

Of course, if a company has exhausted its options for dealing with an absence, there is still the option of disciplinary action and ultimately dismissal. It is important that the organization's procedures are fair, non-discriminatory and carried out correctly to minimize the risk of unfair dismissal.

If you want to learn more about the basics of HR, visit our tutorials and IceHrm is here for your support.

5 Ways to Make Employee Feedback Count

Modern workers demand continuous feedback and professional growth. Effective feedback fosters engagement and productivity, shaping a thriving workplace culture....

HR Principles 2024: Guiding the Future Workforce

In 2024, HR faces unprecedented challenges, demanding resilience and compassion. Embrace self-care, empathy, and adaptability to navigate the complexities....

IceHrm   Create your IceHrm, installation today.