National Sickie Day – Understanding the impact of absence on your business.

National Sickie day

National Sickie Day, observed annually in the UK on the first Monday of February, highlights a phenomenon where employees call in sick in unusually high numbers, often seen to be due to a combination of post-holiday blues, miserable weather, and a general desire for a longer and extended weekend. It could be easy to dismiss this day as a joke, but it brings attention to the wiser issue of employee absenteeism and its impact on businesses.

Understanding National Sickie Day:

National Sickie Day has become a symbolic day to highlight employee absenteeism in the UK. The first Monday of February is often chosen as it falls at a time when the holiday festivities have come to an end, and employees might be facing the blues of returning to work after an extended break. Factors such as cold and flu season, adverse weather conditions, and increased stress levels can contribute to a surge in sick leave requests.

The Impact of Absenteeism on Businesses:

Excessive absenteeism can have detrimental effects on businesses, including decreased productivity, increased workload for remaining employees, and disruptions to workflow. It can also result in higher operational costs as businesses may need to invest in temporary staff or overtime to cover the workload. Additionally, persistent absenteeism can impact employee morale and team dynamics.

Guidance on Managing and Reducing Absence:

Promote a Healthy Workplace Culture:

  • Encourage a culture that prioritises employee well-being.
  • Implement wellness programs that address physical and mental health.
  • Create open communication channels for employees to discuss health concerns without fear of judgment.

Flexible Work Arrangements:

  • Consider offering flexible work hours or remote work options.
  • Provide the opportunity for compressed workweeks or job-sharing arrangements.
  • Acknowledge that employees have diverse needs and responsibilities outside of work.

Annual Leave Policies:

  • Clearly communicate and enforce your company’s leave policies.
  • If possible, consider offering additional leave for personal well-being, such as mental health days.
  • Encourage employees to take regular breaks to prevent burnout.

Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs):

  • Implement EAPs to provide confidential support for employees facing personal or work-related challenges.
  • Offer resources or signpost counseling services to help employees cope with stress and mental health issues.

Addressing Workplace Stress:

  • Identify and address sources of workplace stress through one-to-ones and employee feedback.
  • Provide stress management workshops or training sessions, businesses should look to have a trained mental health first aider in the workplace.
  • Create a positive work environment that recognises and rewards employees for their contributions.

Promote Work-Life Balance:

  • Encourage employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
  • Discourage excessive overtime and unrealistic workload expectations.
  • Lead by example by demonstrating a healthy balance in your own work life.

National Sickie Day serves as a reminder for businesses to prioritise employee well-being and implement strategies to manage and reduce absenteeism. By focusing on creating a healthy workplace culture, offering flexibility, and addressing the root causes of stress or burnout, businesses can create an environment where employees feel supported and motivated, ultimately contributing to increased productivity and overall success.

How can oneHR help?

Centralised Absence Tracking: oneHR’s calendar provides you with a centralised platform to record and track employee absences. It allows you to maintain a comprehensive record of absences, including details such as dates, reasons, and duration

Real-Time Absence Visibility: oneHR provides your business with real-time visibility into employee absences, enabling managers to quickly assess the overall impact and plan resource allocation accordingly. They can view absence patterns and identify issues ahead of time.

Automated Absence Management: oneHR’s Absence Automation allows you to ensure that managers follow a robust absence management procedure, ensuring no absences slip through the net.

Reporting and Analytics:oneHR provides in-depth absence reporting, allowing managers and admins to generate absence-related reports effortlessly. These reports can include reasons for absence and insights into specific departments, teams or individuals. Having quick and easy access to this data helps identify trends, patterns, and areas requiring attention, enabling proactive measures to address absenteeism issues.

For support with managing your absence, speak to a member of our team today. 

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