Absenteeism

					Reducing absenteeism



 by Toronto Training and HR

         May 2011
           3-4     Introduction to Toronto Training and
                   HR
Contents   5-6
           7-9
                   Definitions
                   Reasons for absence
           10-14   Types of absence
           15-19   Costs of excessive absence
           20-23   Total attendance management
           24-25   Factors that influence absenteeism
                   rates in Canada
           26-27   Reducing unscheduled absence
           28-32   Steps that allow an employer to act
                   legally
           33-34   The Naccarato decision
           35-36   The Coast Mountain Bus Company
                   case
           37-38   Musculoskeletal disorders
           39-43   Return to work interviews
           44-45   Attendance bonuses
           46-47   Problems with absence records
           48-52   Tackling absence
           53-54   Case study
           55-56   Conclusion and questions
Introduction




     Page 3
Introduction to Toronto Training
            and HR
• Toronto Training and HR is a specialist training and human
  resources consultancy headed by Timothy Holden
• 10 years in banking
• 10 years in training and human resources
• Freelance practitioner since 2006
• The core services provided by Toronto Training and HR are:
              - Training course design
              - Training course delivery
              - Reducing costs
              - Saving time
              - Improving employee engagement & morale
              - Services for job seekers

                            Page 4
Definitions




    Page 5
               Definitions
Incidental unplanned absences
Extended absences
Planned absences




                     Page 6
Reasons for absence




        Page 7
   Reasons for absence 1 of 2
Medical
Social
Physiological




                Page 8
   Reasons for absence 2 of 2
EXPLANATIONS FOR THE RISE IN CANADA
An aging demographic
Rising levels of work-related stress
Ever-increasing proportion of women in the
workforce with multiple responsibilities
Increasing prevalence of liberal leave policies




                       Page 9
Types of absence




      Page 10
Types of absence; poor
     timekeeping
                 • Clear standards
  Solutions      • Early intervention
                 • Clarify unacceptable limits


                 • Record all instances and conversations
  Actions        • Honest 1:1 communication
                 • Team agenda if widespread



  Support        • Explore root cause; consider contributory factors
                 • Be attentive to unique needs
 individual      • Consider work-life balance measures


                 • Nip lateness in the bud
Support team     • Consider disciplinary action if unsatisfactory
                   reason and it persists


               Page 11
Types of absence; short-term
     frequent absence
                         • Encourage notification asap and by a set time
      Solutions          • Prompt return to work discussion
                         • Explore the root cause

                         • Record all instances for all employees

       Actions           • Keep in regular contact
                         • Get clear indication of nature of illness and likely
                           return date

                         • Offer support where you can
  Support individual     • Explore possibility of underlying medical condition
                         • Be alert to other contributory factors


                         • Nip emerging patterns in the bud
    Support team         • Consider disciplinary action if unsatisfactory reason
                           and it persists

                       Page 12
    Types of absence; short-term
frequent absence (underlying cause)

                          • Encourage notification asap and by a set time
       Solutions          • Prompt return to work discussion
                          • Explore root cause


                          • Record all instances for all employees
        Actions           • Keep in regular contact; and liaise with HR
                          • Get clear indication of nature of illness and likely return date


                          • Offer support where you can

   Support individual     • Suggest medical advice from Occupational Health or doctor
                          • Be alert to all possible contributory factors
                          • Consider adjustments to role or work environment


                          • Be attentive to emerging patterns
     Support team         • Consult HR before level of absence reaches an unacceptable
                            level



                        Page 13
Types of absence; long-term
     frequent absence
                       • Successful transition back into the workplace
     Solutions         • Retiral on grounds of ill health
                       • Dismissal



                       •Keep in regular contact
      Actions          •Liaise regularly with HR and seek medical advice
                       •Keep an accurate note of all conversations and correspondence



                       • Try to anticipate their needs
 Support individual    • Reassure entitlement to sick pay
                       • Explore how best to support transition back into workplace



                       • Consider how best to manage additional workload
   Support team        • If a return to work looks unlikely, or lengthy, it is strongly
                         advised that you consult HR before taking any formal action



                      Page 14
Costs of excessive absence




           Page 15
 Costs of excessive absence 1 of 4
All absence has cost consequences for the
employer –administrative and other. Absenteeism
that is avoidable, habitual and unscheduled can be
particularly costly to an employer, and to the
economy as a whole.
Disruptive to proper work scheduling and output.




                      Page 16
 Costs of excessive absence 2 of 4
Increased team workloads
Low morale among colleagues expected to take on
extra work
Reduced performance and productivity
Missed deadlines due to a lack of trained,
experienced employees
Diminished reputation with customers and
potential employees
Lost business


                    Page 17
 Costs of excessive absence 3 of 4
Direct costs
Indirect costs
Total cost




                 Page 18
 Costs of excessive absence 4 of 4
PRODUCTIVITY LOSS
Replacement approach
Cost of replacement workers
Efficiency of replacement workers




                      Page 19
Total attendance
  management




      Page 20
Total attendance management 1 of 3
What is it?
Objective setting
Integrated approach
Prevention
Casual absence
STD/LTD
Workers’ compensation




                      Page 21
Total attendance management 2 of 3
Establish clear policies, procedures, roles and
responsibilities
Engage people leaders to participate effectively in
attendance management




                       Page 22
attendance management 3 of 2




           Page 15
Factors that influence
absenteeism rates in
       Canada




         Page 24
     Factors that influence
  absenteeism rates in Canada
Unionization
Permanent status
Size of the organization
Province
Pay for sickness absence
Type of job
Dependant children




                     Page 25
Reducing unscheduled
      absence




        Page 26
Reducing unscheduled absence
Consider work-life balance measures
Clearly explain roles, duties, projects and tasks
Simplify processes and administration
Encourage communication




                       Page 27
 Steps that allow an
employer to act legally




          Page 28
Steps that allow an employer to
        act legally 1 of 4
An employer is entitled to the benefit of its bargain in the
employment relationship. At the same time, it is not
permissible to punish an employee for non-culpable
behaviour because that behaviour is out of the employee's
hands.
Attendance management programs may be used in
response to excessive, blameless absenteeism, but they
must be drafted with great care.
The law will permit termination for innocent absenteeism
when it reaches a given level of seriousness and there is no
reasonable prospect for improvement in the future.


                          Page 29
Steps that allow an employer to
        act legally 2 of 4
LEGAL PARAMETERS FOR ATTENDANCE
MANAGEMENT
There should be no reprisal for taking statutory leave
Duty to accommodate under human rights legislation
must be met (disability, family status)
Comply with Return to Work obligations under
workers’ compensation legislation
Respect an employee’s right to privacy – medical
information, surveillance
Distinguish between culpable and non-culpable


                        Page 30
Steps that allow an employer to
        act legally 3 of 4
ATTENDANCE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM
Trigger for entry or progression through
Attendance Management Program
Numerical criteria must not be arbitrary
Criteria must not be discriminatory
Consider the duty to accommodate at every stage
Requests for medical information




                     Page 31
Steps that allow an employer to
        act legally 4 of 4
QUESTIONS TO ANSWER BEFORE YOU
TERMINATE FOR INNOCENT ABSENTEEISM
Is the employment relationship frustrated?
What is your potential liability if you terminate and
a court, human rights tribunal or arbitrator
disagrees with your assessment of frustration?




                       Page 32
The Naccarato decision




         Page 33
      The Naccarato decision
Background
Limits on the duty to accommodate
Naccarato decision
What Naccarato means for employers




                    Page 34
The Coast Mountain Bus
    Company case




         Page 35
     The Coast Mountain Bus
         Company case
Background
Attendance Management Program
Reasons of the Court of Appeal
Critical implications for employer strategies to
manage absenteeism
What’s the problem?
Impact of the duty to accommodate
How much absenteeism must be accommodated?
Points to consider


                     Page 36
Musculoskeletal disorders




           Page 37
     Musculoskeletal disorders
Principles of management
What are the symptoms?
Acute, recurrent or chronic




                      Page 38
Return to work interviews




           Page 39
  Return to work interviews 1 of 4
PURPOSE
Welcome employees back
Check they are well enough to work
Identify the cause of the absence
Discuss the details of an agreed return to work based on
advice given by the doctor
Establish if the sickness is work related and what health &
safety issues need to be addressed
Tease out any other problems at work or at home
Discuss how they can get back to a normal work routine as
quickly as possible, update them on developments


                          Page 40
  Return to work interviews 2 of 4
PREPARING FOR A RETURN TO WORK DISCUSSION
The discussion is confidential so find a quiet place
Have everything to hand at the meeting; employee records,
notes of previous discussions, advice from their doctor
Be prepared to discuss the employee’s absence in detail
including any emerging patterns
Consider how a return to work will work in practice-what
kind of questions will you ask? What does the absence
policy say? What issues may crop up during the discussion?
How would a phased return work?
Explain when the interview will take place and its purpose


                         Page 41
  Return to work interviews 3 of 4
THE CONVERSATION
Most discussions will be informal and brief
Explore how the employee feels about returning to work
Be positive about the employee’s value to the organization
Explore how a return to work will work in practice
Ask your employee what information they would like shared
with their work colleagues
Be reassuring throughout
Update the employee about changes since they have been
away such as the progress on the projects they were
working on and any changes to the team


                         Page 42
  Return to work interviews 4 of 4
THE CONVERSATION
What are the options for the future? Discuss all the options
and focus on positive outcomes. Where appropriate the
employee may agree to be referred to your organization’s
medical officer information or to an occupational health
therapist?
In some instances disciplinary action may be needed if the
explanations for absence/poor timekeeping are deemed
unsatisfactory. Have an open mind and agree an action
plan but don’t make hasty decisions
Take notes of the meeting


                          Page 43
Attendance bonuses




       Page 44
          Attendance bonuses
Consider making an employee assistance program available
to the workforce
Identify drivers of absence that are not sickness related
and think how you could mitigate them-for example,
flexible working for people with young children
Remember that attendance bonuses could be viewed as
discriminatory
Reinvest money that would have been spent on bonuses in
a company-funded wellbeing scheme
Carry out return-to-work interviews, even for short-term
absences


                         Page 45
Problems with absence
       records




         Page 46
Problems with absence records
Inadequate absence information required
Inaccurate records
Record-keeping system hinders analysis of
absences
Record-keeping system prevents proper analysis of
absences




                     Page 47
Tackling absence




      Page 48
      Tackling absence 1 of 4
Dust down your policies
Hold calibration sessions
Provide a support structure
Clear reporting is crucial
Get people back to work
Policies aren’t everything




                      Page 49
      Tackling absence 2 of 4
Encourage high attendance rather than talking about
high absence
Recognise high attendance with non-monetary
rewards
Hold managers at all levels accountable for absence
reduction
Deal with frequent short-term absence first
Use return-to-work interviews
Train managers to become assertive leaders so that
they own the problem

                      Page 50
      Tackling absence 3 of 4
Measure rates and direct costs across the board,
both long-term and short-term.
A recent survey by the Conference Board of Canada
revealed that only 40% of employers track
absenteeism rates, and the direct cost of
absenteeism averaged 2.6% of payroll in these
organizations. Education and health and government
reported the highest absenteeism rates, whilst
Canada suffers from higher absence rates than
either the US and the UK.

                      Page 51
       Tackling absence 4 of 4
The Conference Board report outlines steps that
organizations can take to better manage their programs.
These include:

Identifying the root causes of absenteeism
Taking proactive steps to improve the health and well-being
of employees
Having a return-to-work program in place
Focusing on communication and education
Getting involved early when employees are absent
Keeping in constant contact with employees on leave


                         Page 52
Case study




   Page 53
Case study




   Page 54
Conclusion & Questions




         Page 55
            Conclusion
Summary
Questions




               Page 56

				
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