The HSE West is to implement actions to reduce daily absenteeism figure across all sites and all services in HSE West, which currently stands at five per cent, to a reduced 3.5 per cent rate.
According to a statement from the HSE, absenteeism is a key item on HSE West management team agendas and monthly absenteeism reports highlight the areas in need of most attention. HR staff conduct audits on areas where absenteeism levels are high.
There is a significant emphasis on the return to work discussion, dealing with frequent short-term illnesses and review/monitoring meetings between staff members and their line managers. This is followed by return to work reviews where the absenteeism is ongoing, and may ultimately lead to the suspension of sick pay or disciplinary procedures being invoked.
HR departments provide ongoing support and advice in relation to absenteeism to line managers in consultation with the occupational health department, stress management counsellors, and the employee support service programmes.
Regular review meetings by occupational health are set up with line managers and individuals to review actions and suitable roles for employees returning to work and to ensure that changes in practice and the work place have taken place and are working well.