Managing Sickness and Absence


Started on July 19, 2024

Managing Sickness and Absence

The course outlines what the legal requirements of employers in relation to staff absence due to illness. This managing sickness training also gives strategies on how to identify patterns and types of absence.

137 million days a year are lost in the UK due to employee sickness.  The costs to employers include wages, the cost of replacement staff and training for replacement staff. There are also the unseen cost for the time both management and staff take to plug the gaps left by the employee who is ill. While it is impossible to avoid illness, there are circumstances where the frequency and number of spells of illness of an employee can be on concern to management.

Seven Stages to Unexpected Absence Due to Illness
  1. Initially, the employee calls in sick
  2. Each day of the absence the employee maintains contact while they are sick
  3. The employee produces a self certification of illness that lasts up to seven calendar days
  4. On the eighth day the employee must produce a “Fitness for Work” note from a doctor.
  5. A “Return to Work” meeting is set up with the line manager on the return to work
  6. In the event of more frequent absences, manager and employee review past illness and discuss if this will affect the employment going forward
  7. Where necessary, a formal process involving HR applies

This managing sickness course covers the legislation surrounding both authorised and unauthorised absences and discusses how regular poor attendance is seen as a fair reason for dismissal under the Employments Rights Act, 1996. We discuss ‘The Equality Act’  to show how those who are absent due to physical or mental impairment may be able to access further legal protection.  The course looks at how employers can work with them to minimise the amount of time they need as a result of managing their illness.

The role of the doctor for longer illness comes into focus.  After a period of more than seven days absence due to illness, a doctor decides on whether the employee “is not fit for work” or “may be fit for work”.   A purpose of the ‘Fit Note scheme’ is to facilitate a return to work where adjustments made by employers might help employees resume work sooner under one of four options offered:

  • Phased return to work
  • Amended job duties
  • Altered hours of work
  • Adaptations to the workplace
Legislation on Pay

The course discusses employee entitlements under Statutory Sick Pay and other time taken off work for unexpected reasons. It also looks at other types of leave, including annual holiday leave and the legislation that governs employment and equality.

Course ContentModule
The costs and impact of employee absence1
Measuring and managing employee absence2
Legislation, processes, and pay3
Course Assessment

Online assessment in managing sickness training is carried out by a series of multiple choice questions. Candidates must answer 70% of the questions correctly to pass each module. We advise you to complete each module and answer the question before moving on to the next module. This provides a better learning experience because you will need to have knowledge from earlier modules to understand some of the material in the later modules. For those who complete the course successfully, a PDF certificate of the award is sent directly to your inbox.  Hard copies of the award are available on request.  The course takes 30 minutes of training to complete. This is course content only and does not cover the time it takes to answer questions.

Related courses to managing sickness training include:

Disciplinary procedures training
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training