Absence Management

Loch Health’s HR Medical Specialists can provide advice and support with absence management. 

Loch Health has created an innovative and unique service to tackle absences in the workplace, making the process easy and smooth for employers. Our HR Medical Specialists are all HR Consultants with a medical background and specialist knowledge in physiotherapy, mental health, occupational health or social work who can help businesses manage absenteeism. We look specifically for commercially focused and cost effective solutions for the employer when managing absences.

They can help by carrying out welfare and Return to Work Meetings which are an essential part of managing absence and is proven to be a cost effective management tool in reducing the number of absence episodes and the time taken off sick.

Find out more about HR Medical Specialist services. 

How our HR Medical Specialists can help:

  • Carry out return to work meetings
  • Help to avoid or manage long term absences more effectively
  • Keep a note of contacts made, provide written reports with regards to measures that may facilitate a return to work or reduce episodes of absenteeism
  • Identify issues which may be affecting performance or attendance
  • Take time to get to know your employees and the factors that affect their health
  • Give advice on medication that can have side effects on things like physical stamina, mood, driving, machinery operation and safety critical tasks
  • Identify any early interventions that may help the employee regain their fitness
  • Be flexible, treat each case individually, but on a fair and consistent basis
  • Give the employee the opportunity to discuss their health or other concerns freely

Short Term Absence Management

Using an HR Medical Specialist is very effective in the management of employees who have multiple, short duration sickness absences. The HR Medical Specialist can put sickness into context with previous absences, identify links and then in partnership with you offer cost effective solutions to the problem from either a medical point of view or an HR perspective.

  • Accurate records of absenteeism
  • Maintain contact with employee
  • Cost effective workplace adjustments recommended and implemented
  • Alternative cost effective solutions or treatments sought to achieve an earlier return to work
  • Return to work plans devices, agreed, implemented and reviewed
  • Supported by comprehensive report for the employer, which can act as evidence if needed going forward

Repetitive and/or Long Term Sickness Management

The management of repetitive or long term sickness can become particularly complex and if poorly handled can result in significant financial losses. Long term illness often involves problems that managers find difficult and distressing to deal with, particularly when dealing with terminal illnesses.

Specific employees may need help and support to stay at work or return to work, these may include employees who become ill or injured and whose job performance could be affected if their condition gets worse, who become disabled as defined by the Equality Act 2010 or an employee whose condition already affects their job performance and attendance.

Our aim is to help you identify the root cause for absence, plan and implement cost effective measures to assist employees back into the workplace as soon as possible, reducing the cost of sickness to your business.

The initial contact will usually be by telephone with one of our HR Medical Specialists who will use their specialist medical knowledge to try and identify the specific reason for the absence, and develop a way forward to facilitate the employee’s early return to work.

Managing Return to Work

Carrying out return to work meetings (RTW) is essential to effectively manage absences. Carried out properly, the RTW has been proven to be cost effective and reduces the length of absence and number of days taken off. However, managers often feel uncomfortable about discussing absences with employees, particularly where it involves personal or sensitive information. RTW’s in these instances can be counterproductive but we can help by doing these for you or training your managers on how to carry out these meetings.

By failing to understand the nature and length of an illness, plans for absence cover or managing disability can be delayed or ineffective. We can help by ensuring this does not happen.

Long term absences can be difficult to manage due to potentially complex issues involving emotional or depressive and potentially terminal conditions such as cancer. Our HR Medical Specialists are experts in dealing with these situations.

Our aim is to help you identify the nature and causes of absences as well as assist you with the return to work or help by implementing cost effective measures to help them to stay at work, to reduce the impact and cost to your business of sickness.

Our HR Medical Specialists are supported by Loch Health’s sister company, Loch Employment Law, to provide expert legal advice and support when needed.

Cost effective and Commercially Focused

HR Medical Specialists are different to Occupational Health (OH) Specialists:

  • They are more cost effective as their solutions are more flexible and HR Medical Specialists can often carry out their work by telephone
  • The HR Medical Specialists can work in partnership with the employer to find commercially focused solutions to the problem. This can be supported with confidential reports for the employer on the situation and potential solutions. OH Specialists on the other hand play a different role and are required to share their reports with the employee too
  • We look for practical solutions that can be put in place before an absence escalates to prevent the employer incurring costs and the loss of vital staff to the business
  • Our HR Medical Specialists are not bound by ‘medical in confidence’, as OH Specialists are, which mean we can remain focussed on the best solution for both parties and do not have the constraints of restricted communication with the employer
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