No matter how big or small your organisation is, the costs associated with sickness absence can be hugely impactful. In these unprecedented times, there’s never been a more important period to implement measures that will benefit you financially in the long run.

Here are our 7 deadly sins of absence management and what you can do to ensure your business is better-equipped to deal with it.

Using spreadsheets

Many growing businesses start off by managing absence with printed holiday request forms and complicated spreadsheets. Although basic tools such as these can help to a degree, these methods are inefficient and a time will come where the administration of holiday requests and sickness tracking will become too much to handle, especially around busier times of the year.

By using spreadsheets to manage absence, valuable time and resources will be lost, when it could be put towards other, more productive, areas within the business.

Not running regular absence reports

Businesses are all too aware of the cost of sickness absence – statutory sick pay, occupational sick pay, paying overtime for covering staff and temporary cover. By running regular reports of who’s absent the most, how often it occurs and when absence is at its highest overall, you’ll be able to address those issues early, before they become a longer-term problem.

Allowing too much leave to be taken

Offering extra annual leave days as a staff benefit is all well and good until you have multiple people off at the same time; which soon becomes an operational nightmare. Particularly for those employers giving their staff an additional day off on their birthday; as they start to grow as a business and employ more people, a time will come when more than one person will be off on any one day, and that’s not taking into consideration people who have already pre-booked those days in advance, or have unexpectedly called in sick.

Unknowingly leaving a department short-handed

Spreadsheets continue to be a popular tool for managing absence because there’s not a cost associated with it. However, the person responsible for managing the absence spreadsheet will often be diverted away from their usual day-to-day duties, leaving a department potentially short-staffed. Although a cost-effective solution, it affects productivity and increases the pressure for those staff members having to cover.

Staff being unaware leave is being taken by colleagues

It’s happened all too many times – two of your key staff members taking holiday at the same time, leaving their fellow colleagues with double the workload. Investing in a good quality absence management system will offer a feature that notifies you of when more than one person has taken the same period of annual leave. That way, your business can continue to run smoothly, and your employee gets their hard-earned break without any worries of their team not being able to cope.

HR unable to keep accurate leave records

Unfortunately, for some businesses, action needs to be taken against employees that have taken a concerning amount of absence over a period of time. To do this, HR teams need to be well equipped with reports on the number of absences taken, the reason for absence and when they occurred. An absence management system will offer all of this and more, including reports on how their absence levels compare to their colleagues.

Not having clear absence policies and procedures in place

One of the main tools for managing absence is having a clear policy and process in place, and it’s important to outline these to your employees and management teams. These policies should be readily accessible to employees, which makes uploading it to your absence management system a great place to start.

Considering an absence management system for your business? Start your free 30-day LeavePlanner trial today.

For any queries, call Steve on 01252 636 070 or email