Professional tips to manage absences

Managing absences can quickly become a headache, especially when it impacts operations or leads to termination. To avoid traps and make the situation easier, I want to sharie my professional tips.

The best tool to communicate

The Employee Handbook is a valuable tool for managers and organizations. It clearly and precisely dictates the absence management mechanism in place. Make sure the “Absence” section is up to date, that your managers apply the rules consistently to ensure procedural fairness, and that the employee has easy access to the handbook and knows the rules. When you trust a CHRP[1] to develop your manual, he or she will use best practices, the Employment Standards Act[2] and your values to write it.

Rigor, even if it’s not so easy

“Rigor, rigor, rigor.” This famous quote from Pierre Bruneau[3] demonstrates the importance of verifying the information communicated to the employee and its compliance. And if you make a mistake, you quickly correct it. In fact, for François Cardinal, vice-president of information and assistant editor of the press, “The important thing is to limit the number of errors, of course. But it’s especially important to recognize the mistake… and to correct it as quickly as possible. It’s your credibility that’s at stake and, by the same token, your employer brand. In our context of labour shortage, I recommend that your employee experience be impeccable.

A few quick ideas

Here are a few administrative points to remember when managing an absence or disability, which also includes time off work due to a work-related accident:

– Contact your group insurance provider to notify them of the short-term absence, especially if the employee is on EI benefits during the absence. Your provider may waive premiums depending on your contract;

– Authorize and pay or not authorize and not pay for the absence. Be clear with the employee about this authorization and the next disciplinary steps they will face. Be sure to note everything in the employee’s file.

– Administrative termination is possible after 2 years of absence, with the demonstration that there is no foreseeable return date;

– Before terminating employment in the context of an absence, ask a CHRP to guide you and draft the termination letter. It is also always advisable to have an employment lawyer review it;

– The employment relationship is protected during absences due to injury and illness[4]:

Why follow all these tips

With these few tips, you will preserve your employee experience and maintain a strong employer brand. The objective is, among other things, to reduce the risk of a complaint to the CNESST. This is a very costly process in terms of finances and human resources. It is also to preserve the energy of your front-line managers who have to deal with several issues, including the lack of manpower.

By Mélanie Gauthier, CRHA

Writter du blogue RH – Espace Conseils Iceberg Management