Facebook Support a return to work - Healthy Working Lives

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

​1. Supporting a return to work

Keep in contact with your employee

When an employee is absent from work it is important to keep in contact to offer support. This also gives you the opportunity to receive a health update.

You can use this to discuss any barriers that may be preventing a return to work. It also enables you to discuss reasonable practical adjustments that may help support a safe and healthy return to work.

Your policy should outline what contact is expected when your employee is absent which makes keeping in touch much easier.

Use our Supporting staff attendance policy statement

Fit note and self-certificate

If they are absent for less than 7 days then a self-certificate is required.

A fit note is required if an employee is absent from work for more than seven days (including weekends).

The fit note is issued by the employee’s GP or other suitable medical practitioner and the original needs to be seen by you. You may then take a copy for your confidential records and return the original to the employee.

A GP will advise on the fit note that your employee is unfit for work due to their health condition or that they may be fit for work with recommended reasonable adjustments.

GOV.UK provides fit note guidance for employers and line managers.

The fit note advises when an employee is

  • unfit for work
  • may be fit for work.