Absenteeism and Attendance Management
Employee absenteeism can be a strain on your operations and a significant expense. If poorly handled the problem can grow worse, exposing your company to claims ranging from discrimination to constructive dismissal.
Employers should keep the following information in mind when dealing with absenteeism in the workplace:
- There is a difference between innocent absenteeism (i.e. absence due to a legitimate reason such as poor health) and culpable absenteeism (i.e. absence due to poor personal scheduling). Only culpable absenteeism may properly attract discipline.
- For prolonged absences, regularly require and review medical reports to substantiate absences and to understand how a return to work may be facilitated.
- Advise employees of their role and responsibilities. A worker's failure to cooperate in the accommodation process may result in discipline, up to and inclusive of termination.
- Think creatively about how best you might help employees return to work and record what options you explore.
- Offer ongoing support and proactively monitor the progress of returned workers to ensure both their success and safety in the workplace.
- Consult with a lawyer prior to dismissing an employee on medical leave. While there can be valid reasons to do so, this type of action can create exposure to liability.