Guide to Sickness Absence Management

Managing sickness absence at my school 

A healthy and fit workforce is essential for the effective operation of any school so it’s really important to have an effective system in place for managing sickness-related absences.  

No one chooses to be unwell but if they are, here’s a ten-point checklist for you to make sure you have everything in place at your school: 

  • Does your school have overall approaches and measures that make staff feel genuinely supported 
  • Establish a comprehensive sickness absence management policy and procedures  
  • Check that staff know what to do when they are not well enough to come to work 
  • Make sure that fit notes are obtained, read and understood by the member of staff and the school and that you work collaboratively with employees in line with their GPs’ advice to help them get back to work  
  • Ensure you have a system in place for accurate sickness absence record-keeping 
  • Provide training on the management of sickness absence for those staff who need it 
  • Hold and don’t under-estimate the power of return-to-work meetings [even if the absence has only been for a day]  
  • Commission occupational health reports for those members of staff to establish if there is any underlying medical condition to support the levels of absence [in particular, stress, muscular-skeletal conditions or where the absence is considered to be long-term, i.e. more than 20 days]  
  • Make reasonable adjustments to working arrangements that include allowing time off for appointments and treatment  
  • Take natural opportunities to check-in with staff at regular intervals, say at appraisal meetings and in-year performance reviews  


Download our FREE Guide to Sickness Absence Management


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