Know your sickness policy

How your organisation manages sickness is important for every employee to know and understand. Having a sickness policy in place can be reassuring. Knowing there are procedures in place to look after you can help to remove some of the stress and uncertainty associated with sickness absence.

What is a sickness policy?

A sickness policy is a document that outlines the policies and procedures your employer has in place to manage sickness absence and return to work.

This policy would aim to:

  • be developed in consultation with management, staff and trade union representatives (where relevant);
  • ensure the health and wellbeing of staff is taken seriously and that all precautions are taken to look after them;
  • provide procedures to be followed in regard to sickness absence, including the reporting, recording and management of sickness absence in a fair and consistent manner;
  • provide guidance around supporting employees while they are absent and to help them to return to, and remain in, work wherever possible
  • provide guidance to support retirement on the grounds of ill health or termination of contract if continued employment is not a viable option.

Where to find your sick leave policy

If your employer has developed a policy, this can be requested through your line manager or human resources department.

My employer doesn’t have a sickness policy

Having a formal sickness absence policy is not a legal requirement, but most employers should have some processes in place to manage absence.

Should you feel that your employer requires assistance with the development of internal policies, you can point them towards the guidance on the HSE website.