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Dealing with absence or lateness

Authorised absence and lateness can be dealt with by:

  • requiring absent employees to phone in by a given time on each day of absence
  • having a return to work interview to ensure there are no underlying issues
  • taking disciplinary action if unexplained absence continues.

Certified or uncertified sickness can be dealt with by:

  • monitoring individual absence levels
  • holding return to work interviews
  • discussing the problems with the employee's
  • having a policy on sickness absence
  • seeking medical opinions if necessary.

Return to work interview

This is generally a standard procedure, and as such may be covered in your employer's absence policy or company handbook. In most organisations, discussions will be informal and brief and include questions like 'how do you feel about being back at work?' They are normally intended to welcome an employee back and check that they well enough to be working, find out why they were away and let them know any news.

If an employee has been absent from work often, employers may also wish to find out if there are any underlying problems causing this, for instance if the sickness is work-related or if they are having any problems at work or home.

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