The company is one of the UK’s leading Financial Claims Management Companies and a founding member of the Professional Financial Claims Association (PFCA). The client is an expert in compensation claims for mis-sold pensions, mortgages, endowments, and PPI. Established in 2003, the high demand for their services saw the business grow, and they now employ over 400 staff located across 4 separate sites.
The company was seeking opportunities to adopt a consistent approach to managing and monitoring sickness absence levels within the business. They opted to trial the Day 1 Absence Management Service in their four UK based contact centres. The call centres dealt with both inbound and outbound calls and had a predominantly young workforce.
One year prior, sickness absence in the contact centres had been relatively high at 7.5%.
Additional focus on monitoring and reducing sickness absence, through the introduction of improved recording and return to work processes, reduced
sickness absence from 7.5% to 5.4%.
Despite these improvements, the business still faced the challenges of:
• Inconsistencies in the adherence to sickness absence polices
• Incomplete data on the causes and patterns of sickness absence for individuals and teams
• Spending large amounts of time recording absence and completing monthly payroll calculations
• The time taken by line managers receiving employee absence calls, including those calls made outside of working hours
• Paper based return to work processes
Incomplete data sets were not only a challenge in terms of managing absence fairly and consistently, it almost made it impossible to identify areas for improvement.
The process for recording and managing sickness absence was time-consuming and lacked consistency in application. The challenge for the Day 1 Absence Management Service was to maintain and then further reduce sickness absence levels, whilst simultaneously reducing the time spent by both line managers and the HR team on managing absence.
The Day 1 Absence Management Service provides the opportunity to track, manage and reduce sickness absence.
How does it work? Absentees dial a 24/7 central absence line, NEBOSH qualified call handlers question the employee to find out about the nature of the absence, expected date of return and ask a set of questions defined by the organisation.
Email alerts are forwarded in real-time to line managers and any other party who needs to know about the absence. Line Managers access a web based portal to view the current and up to five year absence history for all team members.
Once the employee has advised his return to work, email alerts are sent to prompt managers to carry out return to work interviews, complete attendance improvement plans or affect any part of the disciplinary process.
All management information is provided in real time and in a customised widget based dashboard.
An organisation can be up and running and reducing sickness absence within as little as 6–8 weeks, and a dedicated implementation account manager will provide full support.
The client ran the Day 1 Absence Management service from December 2013 to May 2014. Sickness absence reduced from 5.46% to 4.22%, representing a total reduction of 23% over the six-month period.
By introducing the service, the company was able to ensure that all absences were received and recorded in a fair and consistent manner, via our 24/7 call centre, saving a significant amount of line managers’ time spent on taking employee absence calls.
Significant enhancements to the monthly payroll process were delivered, providing substantial time savings and improving the accuracy of sickness absence payment calculations. This in turn led to a reduction in the administration of employee queries regarding salary deductions.
The management information available provided additional benefits; line management competence in handling sickness absence was assessed and developed, adherence to company procedures improved and health and wellbeing campaigns targeted at the root causes of short term sickness absence.
The insight provided by the Day 1 Absence Management Service has enabled the business to reduce sickness absence even further, particularly with regard to long term sickness cases.