Monday, 1 June 2015

What's Wrong with You?



We all get sick, it is inevitable. Yet when we call in work there is the third degree over why are we ill, why did this happen, when will you be back to work? Some managers think that the best way to discourage illness is to interrogate you. The idea is to make you so uncomfortable that you will never be ill again.
But ask yourself, do you really want to be working with someone who is sick? Do you want their cold? Do you want to have to cover their workload because they have to keep running to the loo? And what happens when the illness is serious? Someone comes in looking like death warmed up, then the next thing you know they have collapsed because the journey was too much for them. Then you have to go off with them to the hospital.
Not all absences are fraudulent just because they coincide with the cup final. Here are the most common reasons for short term absence with little or no notice:
  • Accident/illness while coming to work, this could include heart attack, car accident, falling down the stairs or slipping on ice.
  • Cold and flu. These normally take three days to two weeks to resolve themselves. If they come back too quickly you may find the entire shift goes down with it.
  • Accident/illness at work – with a secondary caveat about escorting a colleague to hospital. The most common are scolds, (don't drink your tea hot), cuts, falling down, strains from lifting too heavy objects, migraines. The first aid box is not an ornament. Ever time it is used you loose out on the person injured and the first aiders time.
  • The last meal they ate disagreed with them. Food poisoning does happen. Fortunately most of us get over it in 24 hours.
  • Just got back from holiday with some dreadful disease. (You should prepare for this happening every time they go abroad.) If they do winter spots they make brake a bone.
  • Reoccurrence of long standing illness, e.g. migraine, epilepsy, back problems, dizziness, etc.
  • Tooth problems. Cavities and infections can come on quickly.
  • Other problems/diseases are:
    • Diabetes
    • Typhoid or Para typhoid
    • Dysentery or Food Poisoning
    • Jaundice
    • Rheumatic Fever
    • Heart Complaint
    • High/low blood pressure
    • Tuberculosis
    • Asthma, Bronchitis, Chest Complaints
    • Faints
    • Skin troubles e.g. rashes, boils.
    • Arthritis.
    • Ruptures
    • Mental problems
    • Hepatitis
    • AIDS
    • Eventually, these will all cause absence from work.
If you have a 24x7 operation. All staff will require a Health check to certify that they can work Night shifts. If they fail this health check, you might need to dismiss them on medical grounds, or arrange for them to have a different role in the organisation.
Predicting who is likely to be ill always helps. At the end of the shift always ask "How are you?" Also encouraging your staff to report an illness helps you to cover for it. Most illnesses do not happen immediately. There is a build-up where they might feel a little off colour. Encouraging them to keep you up to date with their illnesses can help with providing cover. If they think they might not be able to come in to work tomorrow, then you can ensure that there is someone available just in case. It gives cover staff extra notice. The more notice a sick person gives you, the more you can pass on to the staff.
When considering absence, you should always consider Tardiness. What to do if they do not arrive on time? Does someone stay late from the previous shift, or do you call in a cover person? Some companies lock the door at the start of the shift. Then open it after fifteen minutes, and deduct the pay. Others do not allow the person on the previous shift to leave till they are relieved. Then they don't get paid for the extra time till it is over an hour. How many times are you going to make your colleague stay late with no overtime before they do the same to you?
If you would like to know more about covering for absence then follow this like to our website.
Or watch our video on absence tips: My Top 10 Tips for Proactive Absence Management

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