After the many shocks of 2020, 2021 has shown British businesses at least a flash of the light from the end of the tunnel. We all want to return to normal as soon as possible, but there are a number of obstacles to be negotiated first. These include the remnants of lockdown and the new requirements of the vaccination programs.

Absence management has changed completely in the last eighteen months, and for obvious reasons. Bosses have needed not only to track the whereabouts of the occupants of all those empty desks, but also to fully understand the reasons for their absence. Are they home working, furloughed, self-isolating, ill with COVID-19, or is there some other reason that they didn’t show up?

In many cases, the new concerns about working practices raised by COVID-19 have seen off older, paper-based systems and accelerated the move to absence management software.

The advantages of a well-implemented application like LeavePlanner are well-understood. It can enable leadership to respond quickly to new operational requirements and equip HR managers to spot the unusual trends which may indicate a person in difficulties or someone ‘gaming the system’. It’s also a powerful enabler of everyday administrative tasks like managing work rotas, spotting staffing shortfalls and distributing statutory information to employees.

Return to work

But the return to work has highlighted newer challenges… for which absence management software has turned out to provide an excellent solution.

The obvious example concerns the logistics of social distancing. If you’re struggling to manage physical separation and staggered hours, LeavePlanner is heaven-sent. But now there’s a less-obvious application, too.

HR departments are now expected to take an increasingly proactive role in monitoring employee health – and vaccination has emerged as item#1 on their agendas. Hard-pressed personnel managers now find LeavePlanner indispensable for efficient scheduling both employee vaccinations and the now-familiar ‘A-Z days’ that follow the shots. (The Astra-Zeneca vaccine really takes a toll, and HR departments all over the country are getting used to the sentence “I feel like I got hit by a train.”)

For many businesses, 2020 was a lost year. But 2021 is looking up. Hopefully by late summer it will be ‘full steam ahead’ for you and your workforce. We’ll be delighted to help make that happen.

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