Managing staff absence: a step-by-step guide

An empty black chair next to a wooden desk with a keyboard due to absent staff

Managing staff absence is something all businesses need to do from time to time, whether it's due to workers needing a day or two off because of short-term sickness, or long-term health issues that cause absence of several weeks or more. It's important that you have clear policies and guidelines in place, both for your employees and managers.

As well as managing staff absence due to sickness, you also need to be careful about how you handle unauthorised absence for other reasons. Personal issues need to be managed with care and both managers and employees often appreciate clarity and honesty about how staff absence is managed.

There are also some legal issues that you need to take into account when managing staff absence. Acas have produced this step-by-step guide for managing staff absence. It is aimed at small firms and line and team managers in larger organisations and is broken down into the following sections:

Absence record template


Visit the Acas website to download a free absence record template that can help you keep a record of an employee’s absence and punctuality.

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