It was, for most, first day back after Christmas and the New Year after all, meaning a few employees may have overindulged, then perhaps feigned the dreaded lurgi, cough or cold!! This is not unheard of, but there are some excuses which are so excessive and exaggerated that you can’t help but laugh at the absurdity of it.
Here are five of the worst excuses for absences that we have heard!!
1. My only pair of work trousers are in the wash.
2. I stayed out too late partying last night and haven’t had any sleep
3. I didn’t realise it was my shift
4. I’m too drunk to drive.
5. I have no way to get to work.
As an employer, you are perfectly entitled to challenge the authenticity of an absence; if an excuse seems too far-fetched then ask for evidence if appropriate. If you notice a pattern emerging, then you should speak to the employee about their poor attendance and take proactive steps to manage attendance.
At HCHR our view is that prevention is nearly always better than cure when dealing with sickness and absence.
Here are some tips to consider if you have a “sickie” culture in your business:
Open channels of communication: Return to Work interviews offer the opportunity for a two-way conversation around absence, exploring why an employee is off sick, is there any underlying cause that the business is unaware of and might be able to offer support, as appropriate.
Offer working from home options: Maybe an employee has used a sick day to care for a child during the school holidays? Depending on the nature of the role, if you offered the chance to work from home, a solution might be that an employee could still get on with their job while keeping an eye on their child.