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Supporting staff attendance

What you should do to prepare for an employee to return to work following a period of absence

​When an employee is absent from work for a period of time there are recommended steps that you can take as an employer to assist their return.

Use the links below to find information on supporting a return to work for your employees and support services that can help both you and your employees.

  1. 1. Supporting a return to work
  2. 2. Support employees with long term conditions
  3. 3. Manage the return to work process
  4. 4. Support services

​ 2. Support employees with long term conditions

If an employee has a health condition then vocational (work) rehabilitation can help them to return to and remain in work. It is not just about providing appropriate healthcare or treatment. It is about providing workplace interventions that can provide support.

In simple language, vocational rehabilitation is whatever helps someone with a health problem to stay at, return to and remain in work.

To find out more about the benefits of vocational rehabilitation, you can download a copy of a review from the Gov.UK website.

Benefits of workplace support

Evidence suggests that agreeing temporary adjustments to work activities and patterns can reduce the length of absence and increases return to work rates. Simple adjustments can often be low in cost but have a big impact.

As an employer some steps to consider as part of the process of supporting an employee may include

  • analysis and evaluation of the job they currently do. Consider do you need to adjust this or restrict their time on the job initially, gradually increasing to their normal role over an agreed period of time
  • discuss whether a phased return to work is appropriate 
  • ensuring any goal setting is achievable for their phased return to work, for example reducing targets
  • do you need further independent medical advice to allow you to support them in the correct way, this might include self-management
  • do they need time off to attend appointments such as counselling or their specialist?

This list is not exhaustive, but can be a starting point for you when considering what your employee needs.

This review can help you to understand the key role you have to play in the process and what type of interventions will work for different people.

For more information visit our Supporting employees with long term health conditions pages