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Are your employees abusing sick leave? Use these 4 steps to conduct an effective post-absence interview

by , 23 March 2016
In attempting to reduce sick-leave abuse as much as possible, you've often heard it being said that post-absence interviews are a great tool.

But how exactly do you go about conducting one?

As pointed out on Employment law Clinic, here are 4 steps you can use in conducting an effective post-absence interview...

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Step#1: Prepare for the interview

In preparing for the interview, you'll want to do some hard research, using facts and figures to spot any possible reasons for concern.

Go through your records to look for any patterns of absenteeism.

For example, you might notice that the employee has an interesting habit of falling ill for one day at a time, either on a Monday or a Friday.

Don't forget to book a meeting room for the interview, or have a quiet place available for when the time comes.

Step#2: Notify the employee

When the employee has returned to work, you don't want to go in with a shock-and-awe approach.

Be reasonable! Welcome her back to work, notify her of the interview and give her time to prepare for it.

Step#3: Conducting the interview

When the interview is in session, the first thing you have to realise is that it's not a criminal case whereby the employee is being prosecuted for some deplorable action.

You are there to, first and foremost, listen.

Ask open questions which will allow you to gather as much information as possible regarding her reasons for the absenteeism.

Once she has done this, you can then approach her with your findings and ask her to explain herself further if need be.

Step#4: If you feel she's abusing her sick leave

If this is the case, you should remind her of how poor attendance can greatly influence her employment with you.

Make notes of the interview for future reference and look for reasonable adjustments.
 

NOTE: If the problem persists, you may need to consider this a disciplinary issue, and take further action where necessary.

Remember that an employee must be too sick to work, and so she'll be required to provide appropriate evidence in the form of medical certificates, medical results and so on.

But if she's sick for one day at a time, she doesn't need to provide a sick note, and so your record keeping must be up-to-date and accurate, as they'll lay the foundation of your evidence during disciplinary action.
 

*Page over to Chapter L 05 in your Labour Law for Managers handbook to learn more on sick-leave abuse and how to deal with it effectively.

Don't already have it? No problem!

Simply click here to order your copy today.

 
P.S. Statistics show between 15% and 30% of staff can be absent on any given day. And 2 out of 3 of them aren't even physically ill! Find out how to stop absenteeism and leave abuse dead in its tracks at the Managing Absenteeism and Leave Abuse Workshop.


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