Managing staff absence

Be prepared: Looking after your staff and your business

People are going to be off sick from time to time. Most employees feel bad about letting down their colleagues and most employers are reasonably sympathetic about their staff’s welfare.

But absence because of sickness, or another unexpected reason, can put your business in a tricky situation, particularly if you have no policies in place for dealing with it.

  • You need to know why staff are off, when they will come back and how you will deal with:
    • short-term sickness absence which lasts less than a week
    • repeated short-term sickness absences which may follow a pattern
    • long-term sickness absence lasting several weeks or more
    • unauthorised absence for other reasons.
  • Sickness absence can be caused by a mixture of:
    • an employee’s general physical condition
    • working conditions including health and safety standards, levels of stress, and harassment and bullying
    • family or emotional problems, or mental health issues other than stress
  • Managers and employees often appreciate clarity and honesty about how such personal issues will be managed.
  • There are some legal issues to take into account, but making sure your staff are well, happy and working effectively is largely a matter of doing the right thing and using common sense

If you require additional support, please get in touch.

Contact us

mail@acornsupport.co.uk

01562 881019

 

 

Original information received from ACAS

Holiday Entitlement Advice

Your company may have different entitlement for staff, but these are guidelines for statutory annual leave, if you need support in this area please get in touch.

Key points for holiday entitlement

  • Most workers are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks paid holiday per year (this is known as statutory entitlement).
  • Part time worker are entitled to the same amount of holiday (pro rota) as full time colleagues.
  • Employers can set the times when workers can take their leave – for example a Christmas shut down.
  • If employment ends workers have the right to be paid for any leave due but not taken.
  • There is no legal right to paid public holidays.

Once an employee starts work details of holidays and holiday pay entitlement should be found in the employee’s written contract, where there is one, or a written statement of employment particulars given to employees by their employer.

Note: The written statement is required by law and must be given to employees by the employer no later than two months after the start of employment.

Most workers – whether part-time or full-time – are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave. Additional annual leave may be agreed as part of a worker’s contract. A week of leave should allow workers to be away from work for a week – i.e. it should be the same amount of time as the working week. If a worker does a five-day week, he or she is entitled to 28 days leave. However, for a worker who works 6 days a week the statutory entitlement is capped at 28 days. If they work a three-day week, the entitlement is 16.8 days leave. Employers can set the times that workers take their leave, for example for a Christmas shut down. If a worker’s employment ends, they have a right to be paid for the leave due and not taken.

Public holidays

There is no legal right to paid leave for public holidays; any right to paid time off for these holidays depends on the terms of a worker’s contract. Paid public holidays can be counted as part of the statutory 5.6 weeks of holiday.

Carrying leave over from one leave year to the next

Workers must take at least 4 weeks of statutory leave during the leave year, they may be able to carry over any remaining time off  if their employer agrees. So if a worker gets 28 days of holiday, they may be able to carry over up to 8 days. Workers who receive statutory leave don’t have an automatic right to carry leave over to the next holiday year, but employers may agree to it.

Workers who are entitled to contractual leave may be able to carry over time off  if the employer agrees, this agreement may be written into the terms and conditions of employment. For example if an employee gets 35 days of leave the employer may allow them to carry over up to 10 days as part of the terms of employment.

When workers are unable to take their leave entitlement because they’re already taking time off for different reasons, such as maternity or sick leave, they can carry over some or all of the untaken leave into the next leave year. An employer must allow a worker to carry over a maximum of 4 weeks if the worker is off sick and therefore unable to take their leave.

If an employee chooses not to take statutory annual leave during sick leave, they can carry forward the untaken leave for up to 18 months from the end of the leave year in which the leave arises. This means that if a leave year ends on the 31 December the worker would have 18 months after that date in which to take the annual leave for that year.

If you require additional support, please get in touch.

Contact us

mail@acornsupport.co.uk

01562 881019

Information via ACAS

The Positive Workplace

We spend a huge amount of time, and energy at work, and we would hope that we are in a positive and enjoyable environment. At least some of the time. But sadly this is not always the case. Due to the pressures and stresses of deadlines, targets and time, the workplace can become a negative and unfortunate place to be.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. We can work in high pressured and stressful environments, but if we feel appreciated, valued and our worth is recognised, we will enjoy and thrive.

What can we do to create a positive workplace?

  1. Give positive reinforcements – use positive language on specific points, for example, I really enjoy working with you because of your enthusiasm. Or, your really good at understanding what the client needs. This shows that you generally do think they’re doing a good job, and it’s not just a blanket thank you.
  2. Show gratitude – this doesn’t have to be a huge show, but an email thanking a member of staff for a well completed job, in time and under budget. This shows you are aware of their contribution, and the positive comment will ensure they continue to work hard.
  3. Spread happiness – smile, say hello, give eye contact and be present. It’s contagious and makes a massive difference in the feel and the atmosphere.
  4. Celebrate wins – and not just the massive ones. Again, this doesn’t have to be a huge extravagance, it can be a small bunch of flowers, a favourite chocolate bar or bottle of wine. And they don’t have to be only work achievements, but exams passed, driving tests or new home are a good time to show your employees that you care.
  5. Get moving – we all know that sitting our desks for eight hours a day isn’t healthy. Going outside, for only a few minutes, can help massively. It will give your eyes a rest, your mind will be revived and your general outlook is improved. If you are in stuck in a rut at work, or can’t seem to focus on the tsk at hand, have a five minute fresh air break, and encourage your team to do the same.
  6. Listen – and give your employees chance to talk. You can’t take on all their ideas, but you can listen and incorporate ones that will work. Hearing positives, rather than just the negatives, helps your outlook too.
  7. Encourage individuality – we are not all the same, and what a boring and unproductive place of work we would all be in. It is important to encourage a open and welcoming environment, for all colleagues.
  8. Lead by example – this is more important than you think. If your staff are un-motivated, lethargic and miserable and so are you, then who will implement the change? Like it or not, the buck stops with you – so come on let’s get going with a positive.

 

What do you think?

What works for you, and what doesn’t?

Let’s share the good, the bad and the ugly.