UK businesses could be running into legal hot water by failing to record their sickness absence according to Aon, a leading global professional services firm who has identified through group risk market reviews for employers that many are not accurately recording sickness absence[i]. Aon highlights that failure to record absence is a legal risk which can negatively impact insurance premiums, increase business risks for staff involved in the process and impact claim payouts.
Group risk insurers require information on who is absent, the reason for their absence and the duration of leave. However, Aon says that some employers do not record absence or have gaps in the data they provide to insurers.
Absence management specialist, Adrian Lewis, Director, Activ Absence says,
“Recording absence accurately allows companies to not only fulfil their responsibilities to their insurers but to better manage sickness absence, look after the wellbeing of staff and reduce costs.
“Having an online absence management tracking system will enable companies to accurately measure sickness absence and identify how much it costs the business. It makes absence transparent and visible to everyone in the company which also can help to reduce the amount of absences.
“Getting absence management right allows HR professionals to target wellness initiatives effectively and make better use of the Group Risk benefits they may have in place but are perhaps under-using. Apart from recording absence accurately, the most important step companies can take to reduce absence is to identify and support sick employees as early on as possible.”
He also highlighted that setting up processes such as return to work interviews allows companies to identify employees at risk of serious illness, as well as deterring those who may be considering taking a sickie.
“Ultimately managing absence effectively not only means healthier and better engaged employees but also allows companies to meet their insurance requirements and reduce the risk of litigation”