High Temps send Sickies Soaring in March

Record breaking temperatures during March caused the number of staff phoning in sick to treble, research from law firm ELAS has found. With temperatures soaring to more than 20°C during one weekend, making it the hottest March in the UK since 1968, thousands of employees failed to turn up for work at the beginning of the week, said ELAS, which blamed the high levels of absenteeism on the exceptionally good weather. On average, March temperatures usually reach around 9°C or 10°C. “We usually see a rise in absenteeism when the weather gets really nice in July or August, but we’ve never seen a spike like this in March,” said ELAS head of employment law Peter Mooney. “Our clients have had around three times as many people call in sick. Whether it’s to ... »

Update your Sickness Policies for “fit note” Reform

Businesses must update their sickness absence policies ready for the new “fit note” rules on 6 April, insurance firm Aviva has urged. Officially called the Statement of Fitness for Work, (547k PDF) the “fit note” will replace the traditional sick note. The note allows doctors to say whether a person is “unfit for work” or “may be fit for work” if certain conditions are met, such as different working hours or avoiding heavy lifting. However, it is up to employers themselves to decide whether to make the necessary adjustments for an employee to return safely, or sign them off sick. “Businesses need to include two new things in their policies,” said Aviva liability risk manager, Phil Grace. “Firstly, how they will manage the he... »