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Blog  »  May 2017  »  Return to Work Interviews: What do they involve? - Blog
May 17

Posted by
Lauren Conway

Return to Work Interviews: What do they involve?

Managing employee sick leave is one of the biggest challenges for many managers. Return to work interviews are consistently rated as one of the most effective methods of managing absenteeism levels.

So what are they?

A return to work interview is an informal meeting between a line manager and an employee on the first day the employee returns to work. To ensure all employees are aware of what they are, it is recommended that it should be included in all sickness absence policies.

Return to Work Interviews:

• Take place on the employees first day back at work

• Are one-to-one meetings between a manager and an employee

• Should mostly be fast, simple and informal

• Welcome employees back and check they are fit to come back to work

• Allow managers to offer support to their employees

• Update the employee on any news or changes during their absence

• Offer an opportunity to remind staff that absence levels are monitored

• Highlight if an absence is work-related and if further investigations are required by the company

When conducting a return to work interview, managers should remember that the employee should feel you are supporting them by holding the meeting but they don't need to be overly aware of the structure of the meeting. Managers should also avoid being judgmental and are advised not to make any assumptions about the employee's absence.

95% of short-term absence is due to minor illness such as cold, flu and stomach upsets. Stress is the main cause for long-term leave with 53% of employees absent is due to stress. Over the next two weeks we will focus on how employers can manage sick leave in the lead up to our online webinar: “Sickness Absence: All you need to know about SSP and managing Sick Leave effectively” on Thursday 25th May 11 am. To register click here.

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