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According to a 2017 Commerce Clearing House survey, unscheduled absenteeism rates have risen to their highest levels since 1999. And it turns out, most of these absent employees aren’t even sick. So immediate supervisors have to figure out how to nip this behavior in the bud immediately, before it gets worse. Here are five steps to manage absenteeism.

Hold a counseling interview

If your employee has been absent, check in with the employee immediately to try to establish what the issue is. Find out whether they’re sick, whether there’s a medical condition, or if an appointment with a doctor needs to be set. Are there modifications that can be made to help improve attendance? Or can a doctor verify whether the employee is unfit for work? If that’s not the case, if the employee is well enough to come to work, they need to be notified they must show up and their attendance will be monitored for six months.

Issue a verbal warning

If the absences continue, the employee should attend a formal review meeting with their supervisor. Invite the employee to the meeting via written letter and advise them they’re entitled to a union representative if appropriate. Continue the discussion about the reasons for the absences, let the employee know how the company suffers when they’reabsent, and give a formal verbal warning that without improvement, they may be terminated. If more information about a medical condition has come to light, make sure they get medical attention immediately and continue the discussion about their suitability to work with a doctor.

Issue a written warning

If the absences still have not improved, a second meeting must be scheduled with HR and the supervisor again. Invite the employee via written letter and remind them of their right to union representation. Find out if there’s any new information about a change in health and give them the chance to explain their absences. If there’s still no legitimate health issue, a written warning should be issued and placed in the employee’s file. Notify the employee the next step, should absences continue, will be termination.

Suspend the employee

If the employee has still failed to comply with the company’s attendance expectations, you should suspend them temporarily without pay. The suspension should be in writing and should specify precise start and end dates.

Terminate the employee

The last step for a poor attendance record is termination. You must have written authorization from a senior manager and HR and conduct another interview giving them the chance to explain themselves again. If there’s still no evidence of a medical condition, as verified by a doctor, the employee should be dismissed due to incapability to perform work duties. If appropriate, a copy of the dismissal letter should be sent to the union representative. Finally, the employee might have the right to appeal, so adhere to company guidelines for that procedure.

For more tips on managing your employees, contact PrideStaff St. Pete Clearwater today.

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