Reminder to Employers of Duties to Tackle Sick Days

With 2.8% of working time per year lost due to sickness absence, costing employers an average of £16million per year1, we’re highlighting the value to businesses of ensuring effective measures are put in place to minimise the effect to the bottom-line is significant. 
Ryan Bickham, Solicitor specialising in employment law here at PCB Solicitors, outlines how employers can ensure they are appropriately covered with regards to the Equality Act and why they should look to create an overall working environment which will ultimately prevent employee absenteeism. 
“It’s no surprise that the impact of such lost days can be significant for businesses. But there are measures that employers can put in place to minimise the potential effect, whilst upholding their responsibility to look after their employees. Health and wellbeing in the workplace is of greater significance now than it has ever been, and so it’s very much about creating a work environment in which staff feel supported, motivated and enthused, as a first step in preventing employee absenteeism.”
As part of the overarching health and wellbeing strategy, another effective method of reducing sickness is flexible working, as it gives greater consideration to the needs of employees both at work and at home, can offer a greater work-life balance for them. And, it can produce real benefits for the business too, with many benefiting from a more productive, efficient and motivated workforce.  
“Employees are protected to some extent through the Equality Act should an employer act unreasonably following an absence, so businesses should carefully consider their legal obligations at all times. If, after exploring some of the preventative measures we’ve highlighted, action still needs to be taken, the best first step is to monitor sick days and review them to spot any trends, for example, if an employee regularly takes the day after a Bank Holiday as a sick day. 
“I’d urge anyone has queries or questions relating to health and wellbeing in the workplace, including the drawing up of flexible working policies, or to discuss how to move things further from a legal perspective, to get in touch.”