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Keeping in contact with employees who are absent from work

Written by: Fit for Work team | Posted in: Blog

If a member of your staff is off work, it’s important to keep in touch with them to help them stay motivated and return to work quicker.

You can keep in contact with absent employees by telephone, and you should make it clear that they’re expected to keep in touch with updates on their absence.

If an employee’s sickness absence is short term, and they’ve explained that they’re likely to return to work within seven days, you can have a less formal approach to remaining in contact.

Who should contact absent employees?

Generally, line managers should keep in contact with any absent staff, and your sickness absence policy should make this clear.

Line managers are likely to know individual members of staff better, especially if you encourage an open, receptive environment where people can discuss sensitive issues and concerns.

Find out how talking to employees can help prevent absence in the first place.

Why should we keep in contact with absent employees?

Keeping in contact with absent employees will help them return to work quicker after sickness absence and will make them feel more valued and motivated.

You should keep in contact to find out:

  • how your employee is feeling and if they’re getting better;
  • if there’s anything you can do to help;
  • if they’re ready to start to plan their return to work;
  • how long their doctor has advised they could be off work;
  • any other problems that could stop them returning to work.

You can also find out how to keep in contact with absent employees through the Health and Safety Executive.

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