HR professionals want real-time absence reporting

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Two-thirds of HR professionals would like to be able to access real-time information on employee absence

Two-thirds of HR professionals would like to be able to access real-time information on employee absence, according to research by MidlandHR.

However, the survey of 120 HR professionals from the private, public and not-for-profit sectors also found a lack of consistency in how absence is reported.

There is particular confusion over defining the cost of absence to the business. While 56% of organisations refer to the employee’s salary including allowances and benefits (and extra costs like NI, pensions and insurance costs have been incurred), 41% use a combination of salary plus allowances, benefits and on-costs. Only 3% base the cost on the employee’s salary alone.

Most HR professionals (65%) say managing absenteeism is a combined effort of HR and line management.

MidlandHR sales and marketing director, Richard Thomas advised the manager and HR director to “work together to create a clear strategy around absence management”.

“Absences need to be monitored and if there are patterns it needs to be addressed,” he said.

Thomas also recommended that businesses embrace flexible working to reduce absence rates.

Government estimates suggest allowing flexible working can lead to a 38% drop in absenteeism, and save businesses £55.8 million.

“People will give you more if you give them flexibility,” said Thomas. “They will feel beholden. They recognise trust and over-compensate to give back.”

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