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Can anyone offer me some advice! 


At present we have a high number of staff absences. For example for Jan alone we have over 17 staff absences. 

We don't pay staff for their absence, unless its the statutory sick pay of course! 

I am finding that staff are taking time off for their child being unwell (which I understand we have to accommodate for, within reason) however it puts the setting under strain, as we are low on bank staff as it is and I have to ensure I have the ratio's covered each day.


We are now going to introduce a return to work policy, and conduct these if staff are off more that three days in a month.


What do other settings do? 

Any advice? 


Many thanks :) 



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It's difficult isn't it? January always seems to be really bad too.

We have return to work interviews always - just to make sure staff are ok and fit to be back. We also have, in the past, had an average attendance and if someone dips below we start a monitoring process 

Here is some advice from ACAS that might help you

Managing staff absence


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Worked out each member of staff average attendance over a month and then averaged those. 


Staff 1 attended 80% of her expected sessions 

Staff 2 attended 100%

Staff 3 attended 96%

Staff 4 attended 75%

Total = 87.75% expected attendance

It gave us a base to work from, obviously some attendances are unavaoidable (someone has flu for example) - but we would take it over a few months and see if there was an ongoing problem. It also demonstrates to staff that there is an expectation - this helped some staff talk to us about problems they were having and allowed us to work together on any necessary adjustments. If you pin it to numbers then it takes away the "You've been off a lot recently" and means that you can support someone saying '"Last month your attendance at work was 56% and now its 64% so that's a big improvement, lets work together to get to 87%"

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