Keeping in Touch with Absent Employees


Dealing With Absent Employees Training Course

This keeping in touch with absent employees online training course provides employers and managers with practical ways of dealing with absent employees to manage sickness absences. While the main factors behind the length of sickness absence are most often physical or biological, psychological and social factors can also contribute.

By communicating in the correct manner with employees that are absent, you can ensure the most optimal outcome for everyone. Managers must be proactive when dealing with sickness absence, especially long-term sickness absences. This will ensure employees feel supported and can return to work as soon as possible.

Human Focus’ Sickness Absence Training Courses

Human Focus offers the following health and safety e-learning courses under the sickness absence toolkit:

Why this Keeping in Touch with Absent Employees Training Course is Vital

The UK experienced 3.6 lost days per worker in 2020, down from 4.2 days in 2019, and 7.2 days in 1995, when the annual analysis started. While the shows a downward trend, sickness absence still has a significant impact on employers.

Recent figures revealed that employers lose 30.4 working days each year due to sickness absence or other ill-health issues, costing employers nearly £77.5 billion a year in the UK.

Employers must take steps to effectively deal with sickness absence and avoid unnecessary loss in this regard.

Sickness absence is unavoidable, but sometimes the factors behind sickness absence can be handled in a way that reduces the impact of an employee’s missed time. Workplaces generally maintain an employee absence policy to formalise how these situations are handled.

This online course examines ways to streamline and improve employee absence policy, along with providing guidance on how to communicate with absent employees.

Objectives of this Keeping in Touch with Absent Employees Online Course

This online training course aims to enable participants to communicate with absent employees effectively and in a way that reduces the impact of absenteeism on the workplace.

Course Content

Keeping in Touch with Absent Employees

This e-learning course comprises five sections:

  • Key Deadlines and Actions – Day 1
  • Key Deadlines and Actions – Day 3 & Onwards
  • Return to Work Interview – Purpose & Process
  • Return to Work Interview – Outcomes
  • Fit Notes

Who this Keeping in Touch with Absent Employees Course is for

This health and safety training online is intended for anyone responsible for managing sickness absence, including employers, managers, and supervisors.

Learning Outcomes of Keeping in Touch with Absent Employees

Participants will be able to:

  • Explain key deadlines for managing sickness absences
  • Apply practical approaches to staying in touch with absent employees
  • Make effective use of a return-to-work interview
  • Explain the relevance of General Practitioner absence notes to the return-to-work process

Why Choose Human Focus for this Keeping in Touch with Absent Employees Training Course

Choosing Human Focus for this health and safety at work e-learning course offers the following benefits:

  • RoSPA assured
  • High-quality video content with clear voice-over
  • Supports compliance with health and safety regulations
  • Short, informative, and interactive content
  • Mini interactive quizzes to support retention

Course Format

  • 100% online course
  • 20+ minutes in length
  • End of course knowledge test


RoSPA assured certificate issued by Human Focus to trainees upon completion of training course

Information Links

Frequently Asked Questions

How should one deal with sick employees?

Effective absence management balances support of ill employees with reasonable expectations for their return to duty. Comprehensive absence policy and effective communication between staff can help provide this balance.

When an employee is absent, the nature and extent of their illness should be understood. In some cases, this is satisfied by a conversation. In other cases, a doctor’s note or other verification may be required.

Maintaining contact with employees on sick leave is vital to have an understanding of their condition. It also can help employers make necessary adjustments when dividing work duties among staff, especially when the employer has accurate information about when an ill employee will be able to return to work.

How should one keep in touch with employees during furlough?

Employers must provide furloughed employees with an HR contact who can address any queries to them while on leave. Employers and managers are encouraged to ensure additional support is provided to ill employees when necessary, to manage personal reactions to the potentially frustrating consequences of employee absence, and to work to identify and manage the impact of an employee’s absence.

How can sickness absence be monitored?

While communication is generally key in this regard, there may be other options for monitoring an ill employee’s status. A strong sickness absence policy may contain requirements for employees on extended leave to regularly provide doctor’s reports or other information regarding their status, for example.

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