Employee absenteeism is an inevitable part of an organization. There might be several reasons for an employee taking leave. It can be genuine sickness or paternity/maternity leave. But some individuals may have a habit of taking off from work without any reason for just a break.

However, a lack of effective absence management can lead to big problems for businesses. High absence levels can incur high costs, low employee productivity, and morale. So, organizations need to formulate strategies for managing workforce absence.

Here are eight tips for managing absences in the workplace.

1. Monitor trends

Do you keep a track of employees’ absences? If not, you will not know specific individual trends or habits. Keeping a watch on trends is especially useful to understand the behavior of employees who have a habit of taking frequent leaves.

You can refer to timetastic.co.uk and get access to absence management software.

Timestatic gives you and your team a clear trend of leaves. It is a single place to manage absence within business.

2. Clarify absence policies

Your staff must be clear on the procedure to take leave. Staff should know whom and how to inform while taking a sick or emergency leave. Mention a specific time in the morning to notify employees about the sudden leave. Inform the staff how many days prior they have to inform of a planned leave.

3. Practice equality

Please make sure you treat everyone when it comes to sickness absence. Any unfairness can have long-term effects on employee morale and motivation. If employees witness such an act continuously from your side, it will doubt their minds. They can ask for evidence if some employees go for regular long days off.

4. Reward non-absence

Some organizations have attendance bonuses or sick -leave incentive plans. Offering rewards to staff who take no or minimum leaves is a good approach. You can either give cash rewards or extra day holidays to such staff to boost their morale and increase productivity. The rewards will also motivate other employees to take minimum leaves only when needed.

Apart from this, make employees realize their importance. You must explain to the staff how their leave can affect work and results. It will make them understand their importance. They will try not to take fake sick leaves.

5. Increase holidays

Providing bare minimum holidays to your staff can reduce their productivity. It will make them take false sick leaves once in a while to take a break. So, try allocating more holidays on certain occasions. It will be less disruptive to your business and increase employee engagement towards work.

6. Allow flexible working

One of the recent trends that organizations can follow is flexible working. A 9-6 working is not always productive as it may become monotonous. Allowing the employees to manage their time and decide their working hours can bring a difference. It gives them ownership of their roles and task.

Flexible working brings positivity and wellbeing among employees. Having faith in your staff in managing their deliveries on time can positively impact absence.

7. Implement duvet days

Offering duvet days is another popular absence incentive that the organizations provide. A duvet day is when an employee can take sick leave if he or she is not unwell. They do not have to give notice of such leave in advance. Employees often use duvet days when they need a day off from work or have less workload.

Duvet day is an excellent way of alleviating stress or pressure off from the employees to an extent. It enhances productivity and reduces the problem of absenteeism to an extent. It is because employees do not have to excuse to take leave

8. Maintain a positive culture

Try to maintain a positive work culture at the workplace. Invite employees to talk of new ideas, take suggestions, and discuss them within the business. Organize mind games or quizzes occasionally to relieve their stress from work. It will motivate them to come to the workplace daily, reduce absence and increase productivity.


Employee absenteeism has always been an issue and will happen in the future. The critical solution is appropriate management, transparent policies, and good employee relations. Follow the above tips for managing absences in the workplace and witness significant results.