Jump to content
Home
Forum
Join Us
Articles
About Us
Tapestry

Persistent Abscence


Guest
 Share

Recommended Posts

Has anyone had any experience of a staff member who is frequently off ill. I am experiencing this. She is either ill or off with her daughter - a lot more than is acceptable. It is really starting to affect the team she works with and the quality of provision. Have had meetings with her but there are no causes. Half the time tho I don't believe her.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Has anyone had any experience of a staff member who is frequently off ill. I am experiencing this. She is either ill or off with her daughter - a lot more than is acceptable. It is really starting to affect the team she works with and the quality of provision. Have had meetings with her but there are no causes. Half the time tho I don't believe her.

Perhaps it is time to start getting a bit more formal - you need to get to the bottom of what is happening with this staff member - especially since, as you mention that you don't believe her - it seems as if your relationship is breaking down. What does your disciplinary policy/procedure say?

 

Get some advice from ACAS/Lawcall or your early years adviser to find out what your rights/responsibilities are before you instigate any procedures etc - if there is a chance that you can sort this out without resorting to verbal/written warnings etc you should try this avenue first. Given that you have already had meetings with the staff member, is there another senior member of staff who could pursue this on your behalf?

 

Frequent absence through sickness is a tricky issue isn't it - the whole team is affected and it can sap the morale of those staff members who inevitably have to carry the burden of providing staff cover often at short notice.

 

Good luck - I hope you resolve it quickly and painlessly!

 

Maz

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Someone from head office met with her last time; logged it all down and explained the effects that it is having on the team. It is either the staff member or her daughter who is ill, and she said that one else can look after her daughter when she is ill.

 

She has had her full holiday entitlement, plus with the amount of sick she has had she has had just over 9 weeks off since March.

 

I shall seek some advice after Christmas. I can imagine that a first warning is hard because how would you distinguish when it goes to the next level? Obviously the staff member will take some more sickness at some point - like anyone naturally would - so when does it become unacceptable again? Tricky :o

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh dear.

How old is her daughter?

This could be a bad patch and things will settle down again. If her daughter is ill it may be making her stressed as she knows the impact that this has at work and she is caught in a viscous circle? Ive been there.

 

Hope you can sort this without getting too heavy handed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As others have said a difficult one, stress/depression etc is a 'hidden' illness that can take it's toll.

What are the illness reasons?, Do you have a Health/fitness to work form which staff complete? ( previously discussed on the forum and has it's own issues).

Is the actual environment causing repetative illness?, for example when my daughter first started working for me ( and her son attended preschool as well) she, and her son came down with all the viruses, bad colds, tummy bugs etc until they both built their immunity, myself, after 20 yrs rarely get these illnesses because my immunity has got strong over the years of constantly being subjected to these type of illness.

 

I had this problem once with another member of staff and one thing I did introduce was that rather than the staff contact me and I arranged staff cover, any staff that was off sick had to phone other staff members to ask if they would cover for them, this worked quite well in reducing the number of absences, when the problem of staff cover became thers and not mine. :o

 

I would use this time to re-look at your sickness/health policy, consider when a 'fitness for work' assessment may be needed, consider ways to

1/ reduce the guilt factor genuinely sick staff may feel.

2/ create a system where continual sickness is assessed for cause/ continued liability to meet care standards are affected and actions to take such as health declarations etc.

3/ look at clear procedures for staff's childrens illness related to stff absence - maybe get some advice from organisations which help employees consider work/life balance.

 

 

The policy/procedures need to be the same for all staff to ensure equality. Be clear to all staff on initial employment as part of their contract. If exceptions for any reason ie: long term illness, these need to be clear to all. I would get advice as others have suggested but aim to produce a strategy that supports staff, employers and the consistent maintainance of the care standards. So really not a clear answer here, or a quick fix answer I'm afraid. I personally would include all staff in the review and re-write of the policy, taking into account their views and helping them understand the strategic implications to the setting of the importance of having and following such a policy.

 

Good luck, let us know how you get on.

 

Peggy

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue. (Privacy Policy)