According to employee benefits firm Neyber, “How can I help an employee worried about debt?” is not a question many employers are likely to ask. The Neyber survey suggests that 67% of employees believe that their employer doesn’t care about their financial wellness. It also suggests that only 3% of employees would turn to their employer about their financial worries. Lack of financial wellbeing has a significant impact on the productivity and health of the workforce 55% of employees said being under financial pressure affects their behaviour and ability to perform their job in the workplace 51% of employees say financial pressure affects their relationships with colleagues 46% of employees say financial pressure affects their relationship with their line manager The average household owes £7.413 in unsecured debt, 9.45 million people in the UK have no savings and 17 million people only have £100 savings. It’s maybe not then surprising that any workforce at any one time will have some members struggling with money. It makes the question “How can I help an employee worried about debt?” much more likely to be asked, especially if employers set their stall out to be more open about discussing financial worries. We […]
This week, 3-9 September 2017, is Migraine Awareness Week. It made us reflect on a call from an employer we had recently about a female employee. She was absent from work because of a migraine for the third time in a month. His reaction of “it’s only a headache” made us reflect on migraines and the reality for some people. Claiming to have a migraine is one of the most popular excuses for “pulling a sickie” from work. A recent YouGov poll of 2,105 people found 15% of workers who admitted to making up illness to get a day off work used migraine as their excuse. The fact that people fake migraines puts real sufferers in a difficult position. Some employees say they fear they won’t be believed if they phone in sick with a migraine. Statistics provided for Migraine Awareness Week show that 1 in 7 people are affected by migraine. Migraine is the 6th highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability. In the UK there are more people who suffer from migraine than with diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined. Over 6 million people suffer with a resulting loss of over 25 million working days. An estimated cost to […]
For employees who take time off with stress to avoid a disciplinary at work are, in effect, making the process and situation more difficult for themselves and not just the employer. A disciplinary investigation can be a daunting process. They may feel aggrieved that the company considers their behaviour to amount to misconduct or they may believe their future employment is at risk. If you feel you have a strong case against an employee, you may well want to proceed as quickly as reasonably possible to resolve the matter and move on. However, for employees who take time off with stress to avoid a disciplinary at work, there maybe little incentive to engage with the process, especially if the employee is suspended on full pay until a decision is reached. This can result in what appears to be attempts by the employee to time waste with requests to postpone proceedings through to last minute call-offs or the submission of a fit note. An employer is entitled to require a suspended employee to attend disciplinary meetings during normal working hours, but it is good practice to reschedule a hearing at least once if the employee provides a good reason […]
How To Handle Staff Who Take Time Off For Dependents A family member falling ill can be a stressful time for all involved, but as an employer, you still need to know how to handle staff who take time off for dependents. Whether it’s sick children or caring for an elderly member of the family, research indicates that nearly three million working days are lost each year through this type of absenteeism. According to CIPD, “More employers are recognising the vital role that line managers play in supporting employees, but most aren’t giving them the tools they need to manage absence effectively.” Their 2016 Absence Management survey revealed that less than half of employers (44%) train managers to handle short-term absence, a drop from 52% in 2015. View the infographic for a snapshot of key findings from this year’s report. Employees have a right to reasonable (unpaid) time off to deal with a dependent who has fallen ill, but this should be limited to the time necessary to make alternative care arrangements (usually no more than a few hours or at most one or two days). Where an employee continues to take time off for caring duties, flexibility can help. […]
How Mediation Can Resolve Conflict and Absenteeism Conflict is a huge contributor to workplace absence and stress and many people ask, how mediation can resolve conflict and absenteeism. If an organisation can develop a culture of conflict resolution, then conflict can be nipped in the bud, rather than left to fester and grow, causing the stress that may lead to absenteeism. Organisations may wish to establish a process which allows individuals in conflict to find an informal resolution to their issues quickly and effectively. An organisation could invest time in training line managers to hold difficult conversations that many of us attempt to avoid, listening techniques and promote a culture of openness, dialogue, honesty and integrity. If conflict is already an issue in your organisation, considering strategies to deal with existing conflict may be beneficial to you. Mediation is a technique that can be a powerful intervention with a high success rate. It is a confidential, voluntary and informal process that allows members of staff in conflict to have open and honest discussions through a qualified mediator. It allows them to clarify the issues that so often lead to communication breakdowns and misunderstandings. Mediation focuses on re-establishing a working relationship […]
How to do a return to work Interview We have looked at Why we need to do a return to work interview after absence, now we shall look at how to do a return to work interview. These should be undertaken to acknowledge each absence, and to: Welcome the employee back to work. Seek confirmation that the individual is fit to work Seek the cause(s) of absence giving the employee the opportunity to highlight any relevant issues. Try to offer solutions if the employee raises any issues and if appropriate, refer to employee support mechanisms. Agree a review period and/or any actions required if appropriate. Here’s our 6 step guide to how to do a return to work interview Be prepared In advance, review the employee’s attendance record over the previous 12 months and notes/action points arising from any previous return to work discussions/meetings. Print off copies of the employee’s attendance over the last 12 months Meet with the employee on the first day back at work, or shortly afterwards. Make sure that the meeting is held in a private space, out of the earshot of colleagues. It is important that a record of the Return to Work interview is […]
Return to work interview Besides knowing how to do a return to work interview, it’s good to know why we do a return to work interview. They are necessary for good housekeeping in your workplace. They are just one of the things that companies may wish to consider introducing to keep track on the comings and goings of employees. The interview will let you see what was behind the absence. This is important because after a while you might start to see trends. For example, you have an employee absent a lot with back pain or headaches, which could indicate a problem with seating, lifting or lighting, for example. Remedying these issues could save you lots of absences – not to mention legal action. There’s evidence that companies who introduce Return to Work interviews experience a reduction in sickness absence. It shows that you are taking absence seriously and possibly also a “fear factor”. Some employees who might in the past have taken the odd day off when they just couldn’t be bothered to come to work might be wary of being “found out” if they slip up in the interview by contradicting their original cover story. Companies don’t demand […]
Managing staff with mental health issues can be challenging. We all have physical and mental health, and in both cases our health can vary on a daily basis. It is estimated that one in four people experience a mental health issue in any given year, and that one in six employees is depressed, anxious or suffering from stress-related problems at any time, not necessarily work-related! However, many of us know little about mental health. We often don’t spot the signs that a colleague, employee, or we ourselves are struggling, and this delays help and recovery. Last week Business in the Community (BiTC) released a Mental Health at Work report. Worryingly, the report uncovered the fact that over three-quarters of employees have experienced poor mental health, and almost half of workers would not talk to their manager about a mental health issue. Although employers are talking more about it, there appears to be not enough being done about it. There seems to be a difference in the perception of company bosses and the reality of employees when it comes to mental health. Most board members believe their organisation is supportive on the issue, but 56% of people who have disclosed a […]
The Bradford Factor is a method of managing and controlling frequent short term absence. This kind of absence is, in our experience, the most disruptive kind of absence for a company to have to deal with. Download our Fact Sheet now to learn more about how the Bradford Factor might work in your Company. Fact Sheet – The Bradford Factor Metis HR is a professional HR Consultancy based in the North West of England supporting clients across the country. We specialise in providing outsourced HR services to small and medium-sized businesses. Call us now on 01706 565332 to discuss how we may help you.
Aren’t you glad you aren’t trying to manage a business in India? An executive engineer, who was last in work in December 1990, a 25 year absence, has finally been dismissed in 2015!! The Engineer worked for the Indian government which had found him guilty of “wilful absence from duty” in 1992, but only now, after a 25 year absence, has the employee finally been dismissed. Even then it took the involvement of a cabinet minister to finally achieve the dismissal. According to a government statement the employee “went on seeking extension of leave, which was not sanctioned and defied directions to report to work”. According to the World Bank, India’s labour laws make it difficult to dismiss staff for any reason other than that of criminal misconduct. I’d say they’re right if a 25 year absence is anything to go by! Some states have recently made changes to the law that will make it easier for employers to recruit and dismiss staff going forward.