The 10 Key Steps for Addressing Absenteeism Issues

Absenteeism is one of the major concerns for employers as it can impact productivity, morale, and ultimately the bottom line of the business. Here are 10 key steps that employers can take to address absenteeism issues in the workplace:

1. Conduct an analysis into the specific factors contributing to increased sickness absence rates.

  • Collect and analyse sickness absence data, looking into reasons, different employee groups, and their departments.
  • Seek out any patterns or trends in the data cross-reference with time of year/workload for example.

2. Collect Employee Feedback to gain insights into the root causes of absenteeism and employee concerns.

  • Conduct a survey or focus groups so that employees can express their challenges.
  • Prioritise understanding mental health-related issues and the topic of work-related stress.

3. Review and Improve your Wellbeing Programme and initiatives that promote physical and mental wellbeing.

  • Review existing wellbeing policies, programmes and employee assistance offerings.
  • Introduce mental health support services, this could include Mental Health Training, access to Trained Mental Health First Aiders funded counseling and stress management resources.

4. Provide adequate and informative training for Managers so they are able to identify and combat factors contributing to absenteeism.

  • Conduct training sessions on recognising signs of stress and mental health decline, spotting absence patterns and providing the relevant resources to have conversations with their teams regarding absences e.g. Return to Work interviews.
  • Inform managers on how to create a supportive and inclusive work environment.

5. Explore and implement flexible working options to accommodate varying employee needs.

  • Assess the possibility of more flexible schedules where applicable.
  • Encourage and facilitate open communication between managers and employees regarding work arrangements, including regular 121s.

6. Update, clarify and communicate organisational policies related to sickness absence.

  • Review the absence policies in place and adjust as needed.
  • Ensure that employees are made aware of the support mechanisms in place and the organisation’s commitment to their wellbeing.

7. Create partnerships with healthcare partners.

  • Collaborate with healthcare professionals to develop health and wellness programs.
  • Establish channels for employees to access health resources and support services.

8. Facilitate a smooth transition for employees returning from sickness absence.

  • Develop a return-to-work process and related materials, and ensure Managers are trained on the full process and varying situations.
  • Provide ongoing support and monitor employee well-being one they have returned.

9. Continuously monitor and adjust strategies based on evolving needs.

  • Conduct regular reviews of sickness absence data
  • Collect ongoing feedback from employees and managers to refine and improve initiatives.

10. Embed a culture that prioritises employee wellbeing and mental health.

  • Encourage leadership to champion the importance of employee health.
  • Recognize and celebrate initiatives that contribute to a positive work environment.


If you would like to discuss how you can overcome the impact of employee absence within your business or any of the content of this guide, contact our team of experts via or call 0117 4563390.


The Impact of Absence on Workforce Stability

The pandemic has led to consistently high sickness absence rates across all sectors, necessitating a proactive approach from HR professionals. Monthly sickness absence rates over the past year have not decreased to the pre-pandemic peak, according to the Nuffield Trust, raising concerns about whether they will ever return to a lower level. In this blog, we’ll examine the implications of increased absenteeism rates, the specific effects on HR professionals, and how we play a critical role in addressing this problem.

The Impact of Absence on Workforce Stability

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