I would like to provide a brief overview of why some organizations need an attendance management program.

Research I have conducted as well as my personal experiences indicate to me that over 50% of absenteeism is controllable. Here’s how to prevent excess absenteeism in your organization.

When organizations have very generous benefits plans such as sick leave, family leave, and disability leave, some employees may take advantage of these benefits and use them excessively. This may not be the norm but we all know that it can happen, leading to a negative effect on employee morale and commitment to the organization. Benefits are seen to be a right rather than a benefit.

This puts stress on the employee-employer relationship and forces you as an employer to make some difficult decisions on how to deal with employees who have poor attendance and are not maintaining their obligations under their employment contract.

Why do we need Attendance Management?
We have seen organizations experience savings of up to 2% of payroll costs in year one of implementing a comprehensive attendance management program.

Staff absences, if excessive, cost your organization a great deal of money. Poor attendance inhibits your ability to provide exemplary customer service and/or provide necessary support services.

The purpose of our Attendance Management program is to assist you in approaching Attendance Management from a proactive and preventative perspective.

Attendance Management may or may not be disciplinary. For ‘culpable’ or ‘at fault’ concerns such as lateness, a corrective discipline process may be used to manage attendance. However, please note, Attendance Management for ‘innocent or non-culpable absenteeism’ is not a disciplinary process. Discussions and/or formal correspondence with staff regarding attendance, and their ability to attend work, may be necessary to identify the consequences of failure to meet attendance expectations. However, when related to non-culpable behavior, these discussions and/or letters are not disciplinary.

BizResults recognizes staff can become ill or suffer injuries from time to time. A strong emphasis is placed on all staff working in a safe manner and creating a safe overall working environment. However, we expect employees to make every effort to fulfill their employment contract by meeting acceptable attendance standards.

We offer a comprehensive Attendance Management program, including: 1. An Attendance Management policy, 2. An Attendance Management Guidebook, 3. Sample letters to assist you through the process, and 4. HR services so you can call us anytime for assistance on attendance issues.

Staff must understand and accept the importance of maintaining reasonable attendance standards so your organization can continue to achieve its goals. The fundamental premise on which Attendance Management rests is that employees must take full responsibility for their own attendance. In order for staff members to do this effectively, they must understand what acceptable standards are and receive feedback from time to time to let them know how they are doing in relation to those attendance expectations. They must also be advised of the consequences of not having acceptable attendance.

As their supervisor, your responsibility is to communicate the expectations and reasoning behind managing attendance to your staff. You also must monitor staff attendance carefully so you will be in a position to provide accurate feedback when needed, or when the opportunity arises.

What is Attendance Management?
Any form of leave from work due to health-related/medical reasons is defined as an absence. We are concerned with innocent absenteeism when it arises from circumstances beyond the control of the employee. Excessive innocent absenteeism is an administrative and not a disciplinary problem. People who have excessive innocent absenteeism are not fulfilling their part of the employment contract. We need to be sympathetic to the employees’ needs, but at the same time realize the job is not being done as originally agreed upon and that some action is required. An absenteeism policy and draft letters can be developed as a tool to assist managers in dealing with this issue. Our policy document was developed based on the decisions of
related arbitration cases as well as what was seen to be the best practices of other organizations.

Objectives of Attendance Management

  • To manage attendance in a positive and proactive manner.
  • To provide supervisors and managers with guidelines and practices to improve attendance in your
    work unit.
  • To ensure supervisors use a consistent approach to managing staff attendance.
  • To sensitize employees to the importance of regular attendance, and to improve their attendance
  • To communicate to staff the consequences of continued excessive absenteeism, including possible
    termination of employment.

Our Program: A bit of a carrot and stick approach to management
We offer a 5-pronged approach to managing attendance. The program works best as a complete system, however, any one or more of the five initiatives will assist your organization in improving situations where staff have poor attendance:

  1. Surveying your organizations current wellness initiatives and what might be added to improve employee wellness.
  2. An Attendance Management Policy and procedures
  3. Working with your IT and payroll people, we can assist in developing an Attendance Reporting System
  4. Assistance and processes for dealing with Physicians
  5. Implementing support systems such as an Employee and Family Assistance Program, Disability Management Program and dealing appropriately with Worker’s Compensation needs

Thank you and all the best.
Devin Lloyd

This article and The BizResults Absenteeism Management System are based on my personal experiences as well as extensive research on related arbitration cases, legal precedent, and best practices in the area of managing excessive absenteeism. The information herein is intended for
general information purposes only and should not be considered legal advice. If you are considering terminating an employee for excessive absenteeism as outlined herein, BizResults strongly recommends you seek legal counsel.