Tag Archives: selection

Employee Absence does not make the heart grow fonder!

Sickness, holidays, sickness absence…this topic has been all over the news so I thought it would be useful to offer some practical advice and say don’t despair it’s not as bad as it seems.

The recent European ruling in ANGED v FASGA and others held that workers who fall ill during their holiday may take this time as sick leave and reschedule their holiday to another time.

To minimise the risk of this I suggest you consider updating your sickness procedure to include the following:

  1. Require that people provide a sickness/fit note, at their own expense, to cover each day of pre-booked holiday that they are off sick for
  2. To qualify it should be clear that their sickness has actually made them unfit for work i.e. an ear infection may stop someone swimming while on holiday but does not mean that they cannot do their job!
  3. Clarify in your policy that this does not apply to any additional leave provided at the discretion of the company/in excess of the working time regulations.
  4. Remember that unless you have a company sick pay scheme employees will only qualify for Statutory Sick Pay and this is not payable for the first 3 days of sickness absence.
  5. If you have a company sick pay scheme you may find it beneficial to make payments under the scheme discretionary rather than contractual; this may not be possible for existing staff but should be a consideration for new employees.

Another important case NHS V Larner means that employees on long term sick leave can continue to accrue annual leave and are automatically allowed to carry it forward. Most organisations don’t let their employees carry over leave from one year to the next but this case means that people returning to work after sickness can!

What is perhaps worse is the implication that employees on long term absence whose employment is terminated can claim payment for all the holiday they have accrued during the period of their absence: so someone who has been off sick for 2 years would be entitled to be paid for 8 weeks holiday. There is no guidance, yet, on how far back employees can claim.

So what can you do?

  1. Make it clear in your contracts that only statutory holiday entitlement may be carried over.
  2. Consider compelling employees to take annual leave while on sick leave, and pay them accordingly: this will at least spread the cost however it is not yet clear whether this would be allowable under the ruling.
  3. Act promptly in respect of long term sickness issues: take appropriate and reasonable action to minimise the accrual of annual leave from one year to the next.

Of course this isn’t all you should be thinking about.

Prevention is better than cure and research shows that employee engagement is one remedy you can’t afford to ignore.

Did you know Employers lost about 131 million working days as a result of sickness in 2011: that’s 4.5 days per person. 57% of people say they take time when they are not actually ill; 23% report sick due to relationship issues, 25% because they just want a day off and 6% to avoid a problem at work.

Do you know what the average number of days sickness is in your organisation?  Most SME’s don’t.

Did you know that organisations with a higher proportion of engaged employees suffer 50% less sickness absence than organisations with more disengaged employees?

To find out how to create an environment that drives performance (and attendance) then just ask3ease for more information or michelle@3ease.com

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Is it OK to be emotional at work?

Please don’t tell me you’ve never got annoyed by something or someone at work… I wouldn’t believe you. We all get like that at some point.

Depending on the strength of feeling some of us will have a grumble to a colleague to get it off our chest: someone who shares the same values as us and will understand how we feel. And, when we look back, we’ll often justify our emotions by saying things like ‘I wouldn’t feel like that if I didn’t care’. This is quite normal on an occasional basis and doesn’t affect how we perform or how we feel about our jobs and the work we do.

But imagine if we didn’t have someone to talk to. What if we got annoyed or frustrated by something, or someone at work on a more frequent basis? What affect would that have on our work? How would it affect other people?

Emotion isn’t really acceptable in the workplace is it? People who show their emotions are often seen as negative, weak and unable to handle pressure. We all have to deal with negative emotions sometimes and most of us have found ways of controlling them so they don’t ‘get the better of us’: it’s an unwritten rule that ‘professionals’ control their emotions  in meetings, phone-calls and emails.

Of course some emotions are more acceptable e.g. excitement, optimism. When ‘controlled’ and ‘professionally’ managed  these emotions are considered to be positive attributes in the workplace.

Passion is an emotion admired in business. It conjures up a picture of someone successful, a person with energy and drive.

Passion:  “strong and barely controllable emotion”

Passionate:  “having, showing, or caused by strong feelings or beliefs”

Oxford Dictionary

Employers want to employ people with passion. Passionate people are more innovative, more committed, apply greater effort and perform better. Passion at work is used to describe positive emotions.

Of course just because you’re passionate you’re not automatically better at relationships, more honest, skilled or talented. Passion is an emotion just like the others and passionate people can behave just as well, or as badly, as any other ’emotional’ people – the purpose and intent behind the emotion remains key.

As an Employer you can’t simply demand passion, or expect it: employee passion describes a positive emotion that, like employee engagement, results from how people feel about things like the work they do, relationships with their colleagues and manager and opportunities for learning.

Anyway there you have it  – it’s OK to be passionate at work. Passion is an emotional state in demand by employers (because passionate people are better performers).

So are your people emotional or passionate?

If you want to find out how to attract passionate people to work with you and if you’d like to know how to create an environment where passion (and therefore performance) will flourish then the simplest way to find out is ask: 3ease for more information or michelle@3ease.com

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When only the best will do

Deciding to recruit a new employee is a big decision and most of us would agree it’s important to get it right. Choosing the wrong person would be a waste of time, effort and money and impact on business performance.

Would you employ someone who

  • turned up late for interview?
  • argued with you during their interview?
  • couldn’t remember what job they had applied for?
  • looked like they had just crawled out of bed?
  • didn’t convince you they could do the job (or that they wanted to learn)?
  • wouldn’t get on with your other staff?
  • bad mouthed their last employer?

Why is that so many people do?

Time and time again I’ve seen managers justify these very decisions because they ‘don’t have time to wait’.

These are the kinds of behaviours we associate with disengaged employees. Disengaged employees make mistakes, miss deadlines, let down their colleagues and customers and don’t care. Believe me you have time to wait!

So if you’re thinking about recruiting do yourself, your business and your team a favour, don’t compromise.

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