Managing sickness absence over the King’s Coronation bank holiday

As we draw closer to the King’s Coronation, a lot of employees would like to take annual leave to extend this further and take the opportunity to unwind. This shouldn’t be a problem but throw some ‘suspicious’ sickness absence into the mix and things can quickly get out of hand.

To help you be fully prepare for the celebratory weekend, as always, Rebox HR are here with some handy advice and to help take the pain out of bank holiday headaches!

What happens when an employee requests holiday?

All holiday has to be approved through your established booking system, in line with your company’s holiday policy and minimum cover required. If you don’t have a policy in place, contact us and we will help you get one suited to your business requirements.

It may be an opportunity for you to once again draw your employees attention to the authorisation process and make sure it is clear, a lot of our clients have automated their holiday booking and authorisation procedure through HR software like Breathe HR.

As a responsible employer you also need to encourage your employees to take their holiday on a regular basis, to ensure they are having adequate breaks and time away from the work environment. It is good practice to manage and monitor holidays that have been taken, to avoid a surge of holiday requests at the end of your company’s holiday year.

What happens when an employee calls in sick over the long weekend?

All sickness needs to be dealt with consistently. The employee has the obligation to notify you within the specified time in line with your absence procedure. The timing of their absence cannot be questioned, and whilst unfortunate you will need to source cover last minute to account for the additional person not working for you during this time. If the sickness absence day happens to be the day before the bank holiday (which they were not scheduled to work) you would record the absence for the one day, and then the bank holiday in the usual way. Meaning that the employee would get paid for the bank holiday as normal. It is illegal to withhold this payment of wages.

The important part of managing any absence is the return to work interview on the morning back to work. This helps you to gather information and discuss the absence in more detail. You should also take the opportunity to examine the employee’s absence record to see if there are any patterns or if their absence is becoming too high. This could then trigger the requirement for a further, potentially more formal conversation with them.

What to do if an employee takes the bank holiday weekend as sickness, having been refused a holiday request?

Whilst this doesn’t occur on a frequent basis, it can happen. We have a really useful letter template available for our clients to take control of this situation. If you issue this letter to the employee prior to the ‘time off’ in question, you have made it crystal clear that if they take the time off it will be unauthorised unpaid leave and could lead to disciplinary action.

Failure to take action can have bigger consequences than you realise, check out our case study on when managers fail to take appropriate actions here.

Looking for expert HR Advice ?

We have plenty of options for businesses in both retainer and ad-hoc options

Contact Rebox HR on 01327 640070 or email Hello@reboxhr.co.uk

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