Interactions with our Adviceline service (i.e. calls to our occupational health nurses, questions asked online, etc.) are at an all-time high. So what particular issues are users of our service facing that make them turn to us? We’ve listed ten of the most common scenarios below:
1. A team member is off on long-term sickness absence
One of your team has been off work for just over a month, which is putting extra pressure on the rest of the team. Sales are down and customer complaints are up. You are unsure what to do next but want to be supportive to the employee whilst protecting your business.
2. You suspect you may be experiencing staff truancy
A member of your workforce is frequently off sick. Whilst the various reasons she gives for her absence sound plausible, you can’t help but wonder whether they are entirely authentic. You are concerned about the effect her frequent absences may be having on the morale of other members of the team.
3. You are unsure about terminating someone’s employment due to chronic illness
An employee has a serious health problem which means he will be off work for the foreseeable future. It has created mounting pressure on your workforce and has begun to affect business efficiency. You are now considering terminating his employment to protect your business.
4. You are worried about a staff injury at work
Your team say they are happy lifting heavy equipment but you know some suffer from backache from time to time. You’d like to know how to make it easier for them to raise their concerns and/or follow a procedure that is already in place.
5. You are unsure whether you can contact an employee’s GP
You’d like to talk to an employee’s GP about a complicated health issue that is now affecting the rest of the team. However, you are not sure whether you are permitted to do this or whether you should consult with the employee first.
6. A staff member has just been diagnosed with a serious health condition
You’ve just been told that an employee has a chronic illness. Naturally, you are concerned about him and want to do what you can to help him and support the rest of team.
7. You want to check on the health of applicants during the recruitment process
You are about to begin a major recruitment drive and, having had issues in the past with absenteeism, you would like to protect your business by checking whether new recruits are fit to do the job.
8. You want to learn about dealing with staff anxiety in this challenging economic climate
As a small business you are vulnerable during the financial downturn. Your employees are feeling increasingly stressed about their family finances and are also concerned about their job security. You want to support your staff and ensure that they stay motivated.
9. You suspect that an employee is actually not well enough to work
A member of the team appears to be unwell but is continuing to come to work. You have heard that presenteeism (i.e. coming to work when ill) can be as much of a problem as sickness absence but you’re not sure how to broach the subject without causing offence.
10. Some major changes are taking place at work and you want to manage staff stress levels
Your small business is about to go through a major restructuring process. Understandably, employees are worried about their jobs and how the changes will affect them. Motivation and productivity are down as a result. You would like to support staff and help keep morale up at this stressful time.
If any of these scenarios strike a chord with you, it would be well worth contacting the Health for Work Adviceline to receive professional, immediate and free advice (0800 0 77 88 44). Advice can also be sought online by searching for information on our online knowledge base, asking a question online, or using our ‘live chat’ function.