What are return-to-work interviews?

By March 17, 2015Sickness

A big part of the absence management process is asking employees why they were absent and whether there is anything you, the employer, can do to prevent it happening again.

We think that the best way to do this is with a return-to-work interview. The interview should be informal, but should be taken seriously by both the employer and the employee.

Worryingly, 38% of managers interviewed by XpertHR said they’d never received training on conducting return-to-work interviews and 72% said they felt uncomfortable holding them. We think all managers should be confident to conduct return-to-work interviews and follow-through with all other HR policies.

If you need help training your managers, why not contact us on: 020 7870 1090 and see how a Deminos account can help you.

Why should I hold a return to work interview?

Return-to-work-interviews have been proven to reduce absence rates in the majority of cases. In a study by XpertHR, 68% of managers who conducted return-to-work interviews saw absence rates fall.

There’s a lot of reasons why the rates dropped, but one of the most important is that employees know, before they take a sick day, that they will need to justify and explain their reasons when they return to work, making them rethink unnecessary absences.

Interviews also feed into a wider absence monitoring policy. They encourage managers to be more aware of absence rates and reasons for sick days, meaning they are more aware of problem employees, common causes for absences (which they can then look to address), and give employees a feeling of support from management.

How do I conduct a return to work interview?

Here at Deminos, we recommend managers hold return-to-work interviews for every absence, regardless of how short. This helps managers and staff understand that the absence policy is consistent and expected.

Managers should explain, during the interview, the company’s absence policies and the affects of absences on the business. They should also ask the employee why they were absent and ask if there is anything they can do to help support the employee. The employee should also complete a self-certification form.

Managers must always make sure to be positive, supportive and not accusatory during return-to-work interviews.

Need more help with return to work interviews? Speak to a Deminos adviser.

Our team are on-hand to deal with all your HR enquiries, 24 hours a day. Give us a call on: 020 7870 1090 to find out how a Deminos account can help you.

Author chris swindells

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