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Seb Anthony

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Managers having excessive sick leave discussions


I've been asked to run a training session for managers on how to have a discussion with a member of staff who is taking too much sick leave. Any suggestions?

We don't have an HR policy around this (I know some organisations require a manager to have a discussion with someone each time they come back from sick leave) and we are only just starting this review of excessive time off.

A lot of resentment has built up and managers have asked me for some guidelines. Challenges have been female problems with male manager, Monday/Friday sick leave, stress for one/two days and some staff are taking the mickie. Another challenge is that in some cases the manager obviously does not want the member of staff in their team.

I know a lot of this is similar to normal poor performance/behaviour discussions - but it's slightly more sensitive.

Annah Ross

2 Responses

  1. Managers having excessive sick leave discussions
    Hi there,

    Sounds like there’s a number of issues here, mainly around trust, root causes of absenteism (stress? whats driving it?) and proper management guidelines on handling absentism.

    We offer a varitey of solutions as part of our HR Services (more details on

    Very happy to talk to you about our experience of dealing with all of these issues – and how to ensure you can tackle the root issues, and provide guidelines and best practice to managers whilst remaining compliant to current legislation etc.

    drop us a line if you’d like some help, insights and guides



  2. sick leave discussions
    Hi Annah

    We’re currently doing the same exercise. I’d suggest you take a look at the fenman DVD “Improving Attendance: What managers and their teams can do”
    You can preview it for free. This will certainly give you a good starting point.


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