SAM helps schools and academies to track the absence process and one of the main stages in the absence process is the Absence Review Meeting. We have put together our top tips to consider for an Absence Review Meeting. We hope they are useful.
- Ensure that the employee has received a meeting invitation letter and a copy of the school’s policy
The employee should have received an invitation letter for the absence review meeting, as well as a copy of the school’s policy so they are aware of the policies and procedures that they are expected to follow. The invite letter should explain the purpose of the meeting, provide details and reasons for the absence concerns, specify who else will be attending the meeting and explain that the employee has a right to be accompanied by a trade union rep or a work colleague if they wish.
- Ask the employee to talk through and clarify the absence as well as explain any mitigating circumstances
The presenting manager will discuss the absence cases of relevance and the employee will then have the opportunity to respond, present any evidence and ask any questions. For example, the employee may have an underlying medical condition or there may be work-related factors contributing to the sickness absence, such as working conditions or work-related stress.
- Always ask the employee if they want to add anything or ask any questions
Always ensure that the employee is aware that they can raise any points that they wish to be considered and can ask questions at any time. It is important to directly ask the employee if they have any questions during the process.
- Does the employee have any plans in place in terms of preventing the sickness absence again?
It is important to ensure that the employee has precautions in place to prevent the sickness absence from occurring again. For example, if they suffer from frequent common colds they could use hand sanitiser, improve their diet and get more sleep. In some cases, prevention may not be relevant e.g. in the case of an operation, however prevention should always be considered.
- Explain the possible outcomes of the Absence Review Meeting
Before the outcome decision is made, the employee should be made aware of the possible outcomes. This may include no further action if there are extenuating circumstances or the absence record is considered satisfactory. The second option is a monitoring period to ensure that absences are kept under a certain amount within a set period of time. The third option is a formal warning with a set monitoring period.
- Note Taking
It is key that notes are taken at the absence review meeting as they will go towards formulating the outcome of the meeting and the outcome letter. Notes will need to include what was said from both sides and why the outcome decision was made.
We hope these tips are useful to you but if you need any further help with Absence Review Meetings our team are on hand. We can provide an HR Consultant to carry out Absence Review Meetings or to hold an Attendance Clinic where a number of meetings can be completed in one day to help address a backlog. To find out more call one of our team on 01924 907319.
If you are not currently benefiting from SAM, please get in touch to arrange an online demonstration. SAM is already helping over 250 schools, MATS and academies to monitor absence, reducing administration and supply costs. Click here to book a demo.