UK - Employers are making increased use of occupational health professionals to curb long-term absence problems.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development’s Employee Absence 2004 survey shows that 36% of organisations which have updated their absence management policies in the past two years brought in the use of occupational health professionals.
The trend reflects employers’ increasing concern and awareness of the costs of sickness absence.
Overall the most popular changes to absence policies were the introduction of new monitoring procedures (67% of employers), revised management policies (63%) and return to work interviews (50%).
Among the more unusual strategies used to combat sickness absence are attendance bonuses or incentives which are used by 3% of employers.
The survey highlights the case of Eurotunnel which has a performance bonus that is, in part, reliant on employees keeping to an absence target of 2.75% of all working time.
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