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Archive for the ‘Absence & Attendance’ Category

A new application called Skiver has been released by a Company in Gateshead for Android users and aims to help users pull a sickie and gives skiving employees the ability to select how many days off they are looking for and then providing a selection of plausible illnesses together with a list of symptoms to ensure that they the right info to fool their boss.

The app even provides a style email which can be sent directly to the user’s boss notifying them of the absence. Employers should conduct back to work interviews which are proven to reduce absence, probably because employees are not so good at telling porkies in person!

This article is based on a report by the Chartered Management Institute discussed by Morton Fraser in Lexology today.

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Well there is no statutory right to unpaid or paid leave on bank holidays and so the same goes for the Royal Wedding this year. However, the employers I speak to are generally taking the view that they will provide leave (whether paid or unpaid depends on the individual employer) on the day itself but will not provide a swap or time in lieu because it totally defeats the object of seeing the Royal couple get married! I agree with that approach but it is up to individual employers in the end. http:// http://www.eleonline.co.uk

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If your employees are human they are prone to fall under the spell of the flu epidemic which strikes every Winter in the UK so why not take the initiative and provide your employees with the flu jab for free in 2011. It will improve their lives and your working environment and outputs.

There are some indirect benefits too…. if customers associate your office with a flu free zone they will warm to you for being so well organised and for providing a germ-free service.

I’m not kidding! I swear that the lady behind the counter at our local Spar shop gave me the damn flu while coughing and spluttering as she totted up the contents of  my shopping basket. Call me petty but I now shop at Co-op!

If employees refuse to have the jab then you cannot force them to do so, but you will be within your rights to tell them that they cannot attend work if they have flu symptoms which means they will not be paid (subject to your contractual sick pay and statutory payment schemes).

But rather than using a stick, it may be worth trying the carrot approach. Get your employees together; tell them your plans and ask them to discuss the pros and cons of the policy. I’m sure you will find that peer pressure brings everyone to their senses. But do it now while the horror of having flu over the Christmas period is still fresh in their minds.  More info from NHS Direct

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By the time the worst of the snow and ice has subsided we will all be looking forward to the Spring and memories of stretched resources will dim from our minds…. at least until next Winter when employers will be scrambling to cope with absenteeism!

We have drafted a practical Extreme Weather Policy to help you manage your workforce during the bad weather and according to the experts you are going to need it as we are likely to have to endure the big freeze for at least the next 3 Winters and possibly even longer.

If you are an ELE member you can claim your ‘Snow Policy’ for free. Just call us and we will insert it into your Handbook and give you a copy to issue to existing employees. It is a very flexible policy and whether your employees can work from home or not, whether you want to allow them to swap time off for other types of leave or not, we have got it covered. In fact, the only way this Policy won’t be any use to your company, is if you don’t claim your free copy! So get your ducks in a row by emailing: info@eleonline.com or call us on 0870 300 3809 and don’t be caught out next Winter.  Merry Christmas!

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Female entrepreneurs who work on a self employed basis will be entitled to maternity leave benefits if this Euro-law makes it to fruition. What a great idea. As more and more women become self employed in an attempt to combat redundancy and unemployment they should be supported rather than penalised for their work ethic.   New EU Directive ‘could benefit self-employed females’ | Taylor Vinters.

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If an employee doesn’t turn up to work and gives no explanation the employee is likely to be in fundamental breach of the employment contract because they have failed to provide their labour as required by the contract of employment.

However, tribunals expect employers to act reasonably in such circumstances and so it is necessary to make an effort to find out whether there is a good reason for the absence rather than simply firing the employee.  Get it wrong and it could be very costly!

In such cases an employee is effectively absent without leave so you could start by writing to the employee asking why they are not attending work. Give them a date by which their reply must be received and explain that they should either attend work or give a good reason for their absence otherwise you will treat it as a serious disciplinary matter and their job could be at risk.

Alternatively, you could treat their continued absence as a resignation but this is more risky.

ELE members: You will find the relevant letters and guides in the Absence Managers Toolkit on your webservice account.

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Some companies pay full pay during sickness absences and it is not unusual for them to include a clause that enables them to refuse to pay if the employee’s accident results from them engaging in dangerous sports outside of work or they may seek to claw back payments from 3rd party insurance settlements. It does seem harsh to dismiss an employee who has, perhaps through no fault of their own, been involved in an accident especially if the financial liability from the company’s perspective is only SSP; however I understand that it may also cause you difficulties in terms of covering her work during her absence.

In which case, if the employee is not suffering from a disability and if there is nothing in her contract to prevent you dismissing her now, and if there are no other factors at play which may amount to discrimination or unfair dismissal then you could let her go on grounds that she was unsuitable for the post because as you say, she is a new starter and would not ordinarily have unfair dismissal rights.  Please note that I have included a lot of ‘ifs’ in that answer so it would be advisable to get an employment lawyer to look at the particular facts of the case before you end her employment.

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