Attendance and Sickness Policies from Employers and Employees Perspective


Regular attendance and punctuality are vital attributes for all employees. It is important for employees to attend work regularly and to arrive at work on time, because failure to do so detrimentally affects employee morale and productivity.

However, poor attendance by employees becomes a burden for the company and the rest of the staff. Because of the drop down in productivity, their absence causes and the extra work handed to other staff members which may result into long term financial burden for the organization. Moreover, different organizations have their own attendance and sickness policies in place. They are bound to comply with their own policies and procedure.


Attendance Policy

Attendance Policy aims to ensure provision of a supportive, safe and inclusive working environment that encourages all employees to manage their health and wellbeing and maintain their attendance at work.

General Principles:

1)    To ensure systems are in place to encourage a culture of good attendance.

2)    To support employees to manage their health and well-being and to return to work following or remain in work during periods of ill-health.

3)    To ensure access to Occupational Health and staff counseling services.

4)    To set and maintain high standards of work attendance by establishing clear. guidance and procedures for ensuring absence is managed fairly and consistently.

5)    To manage long term sickness absence and incapacity in line with the best practice identified in nice public health guidance.


Sickness Policy

Sickness Policy aims to ensure that absence is managed in a consistent, supportive and effective way so that operational and service levels are maintained. However, disability related sickness absence and attendance at disability related medical appointments will be recorded but not categorized as sickness absence.


General Principles:

1)    To support employees who have genuine grounds for absence for whatever reason.

2)    To approve special/discretionary Leave for necessary absences not caused by sickness.

3)    To adopt a flexible approach to the taking of annual leave (As per Annual Leave guidelines on the Intranet).

4)    To make special arrangements for employees with chronic conditions and/or covered by the disability discrimination act, for example reasonable adjustments to the work role or working environment/location, etc.

5)    To advise the employee and their manager on the best way to improve the employee’s health and well-being and manage their return to work.


An employer should require the following from the employee:

1)    Employees have a responsibility to attend work regularly in accordance with their contract of employment.

2)    Employees must maintain contact with management during any period of non- attendance as required (Sickness Reporting).

3)    Employees must turn up for work unless medically unfit to do so. Minor ailments such as common cold, minor muscular discomfort, low mood and fatigue do not require employees to refrain from work.

4)    Employee should not assume that being unwell requires them to abstain from work. There is ordinarily no need to refrain from work if suffering from a common cold, minor muscular discomfort, low mood, fatigue or other minor ailments.

5)    Any abuses of sickness benefits (pay and leave) will be regarded as gross misconduct and dealt with as a disciplinary issue and may potentially result in dismissal.


Accordingly, an employee should be aware of the following facts:

1)    Terms and condition of job contract, working hours, holidays, salary, benefits, reward and other entitlements.

2)    It is the right of an employee to have reasonable job security when absent through sickness.

3)    Healthcare facilities and provision for group life insurance

4)    Access to policies, procedures, clear knowledge on disciplinary measures and best practices.

5)    Gender sensitive, respect to core values, inclusivity and mentality to embrace diversity.

6)     Mentality to comply with organizational norms and values.

7)     Overall dos and Don’ts of everything.


Role of Human Resources Department

·         Human Resources Department (HR) has the responsibility to both the manager and the employee to assist in dealing with specific cases.

·         All referrals to Occupational Health (OH) will be made through the HR

·         The Manager may decide to invite the employee to a meeting before they return to work to agree how the return to work will be managed.

·         The HR representative may attend this meeting in an advisory capacity

·         HR will notify employees in good time of changes to sick pay entitlement i.e. dates of reduction to half pay or no pay.

·         HR will provide monthly reports of sickness absence for managers and support them in identifying actions to reduce absence in their departments.



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