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5 Steps To Managing UK Sickness Leave

UK Sickness Leave

UK sickness leave costs small business around £1,500¹ per year, yet most companies do not have a process in place to manage leave. Below are 5 steps your company can take to help manage sickness absence in the workplace

Have a statutory sick leave UK policy

Make sure you have a clear statutory sick leave policy or an agreed process for managing sick leave from work. The sorts of things to include will be:

  • What is the process for reporting sick leave from work? This will usually be a phone call to a named person in the company rather than a leaving a sick leave email.
  • Is there a time by which you expect them to call? E.g. before 9.30 on the day of absence.
  • What happens if they don’t call?
  • What happens if the sick leave from continues continues for more that a day?
  • How will short term and long term sick leave be treated?
Impact of UK Sickness Leave on Business

The cost of sickness leave on UK business






UK Sickness Leave Self Certification

Set out your requirements for certification

    • Do they need to produce a fit note after 8 days
    • Do you need them to self-certify if they are absent for less then 8 days?

Sick Leave and Sick Pay

Make sure you set out clearly the company’s sick pay policy, is it enhanced or statutory? Statutory sick pay is currently £86.70 per week and usually changes in April each year. If you offer more than the basic sick pay set out what the criteria is for getting paid

  1. Returning to work

What are your requirements once they return to work following a period of leave? Do they need to produce a signed note from the doctor on their return? Make sure the employee knows what is expected of them

  1. Return to work interview

Always carry out a return to work interview. A return to work interview should be a short meeting to welcome the person back to work after a period of sickness leave and to check that they are well enough to return to work. This could be as short as at 10-15 min conversation; however the impact of these conversation cannot be underestimates with ²68% of companies reporting that just by carrying out return to work interviews they have been able to reduce UK sickness leave.

Contact Our HR Dept. For more advice w: or

¹ Federation for Small Business 2011 (

² Xpert HR

Sick leave from work - 5 tips to managing sickness at work

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