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Breaking Down The Absence Management Iceberg

26 November 2019 6 min read

Absence management iceberg banner

After Cornerstone announced the strategic partnership with Edays, we were asked to do a talk at this year’s Cornerstone Convergence event. The event was a great success, with our expert team on hand to discuss the hot topics regarding employee absence and to showcase our solutions to attendees that popped by our stall.

Our breakout session was delivered around the enormous iceberg that is absence management and how it can have a major effect on all businesses globally. In this 30-minute talk, we discussed what the absence management iceberg is, why it is vital to have global HR compliance, as well as covering other important areas of absence management.

For those that missed the event, or if you just want a recap of the talk, have a read of what the session entailed below.

What is the absence management iceberg?

An iceberg, small on top, big underneath. The perfect analogy to showcase where the big issues of absence management are and that the real problems are not always visible.

At the tip of the iceberg are the things that are clearly visible to all organisations:

• Wasted time on admin (HR, Payroll, Finance, Manager, Employees)
High absenteeism
• Complicated absence process

Beneath the surface of the iceberg are the inefficiencies that are often overlooked:

• Failing to comply to global rules and regulation
• Sensitive data not protected
• Poor visibility of employee time-off
• Absenteeism and employee engagement
• No data insight for global reporting

All of these factors, both visible and invisible, can add up to a huge problem that will very quickly sink your business ship.


Global Compliance Madness

As previously mentioned above, a big problem for many organisations is being compliant with the local holiday and sickness rules of the countries they operate in.
This may sound simple, but there are so many rules and regulations regarding absence globally. Many systems are not fully compliant which creates huge issues with businesses not meeting the legal requirements in the countries affected.

Here are some examples of the unique rules and regulations that are part of the global compliance madness:

• Two parents that are Singapore nationals are entitled to more paternity leave than those that are not

• In France on top of the ‘Conges Annuals’, or annual leave, of 25 days employees are also entitled to something known as RTT days or ‘Reduction du temps de travail’ translating as ‘Reduction of working time’. Read our blog on the topic to find out more

• It is a legal requirement in Hungary that employee takes all their holiday entitlement each year, any not used must be taken in the first week in January the following year. Alongside this, the more children you have, the more annual leave you are entitled to!

• In Finland, you have to earn the holiday. Each employee is entitled to 2.5 weekdays of leave per full holiday credit month if the employment relationship has lasted for at least one year by the end of the holiday credit year. If the duration of the employment relationship has been less than one year, the employee is entitled to 2 weekdays of leave per each holiday credit month. Making the statutory annual leave allowance wither 24 or 30 days per year.

To ensure you are compliant in all the countries you operate in, you will need a global absence management system that can be built to your needs.

Visibility on the unplanned absence

Unplanned absences are probably a bigger issue than you realised and without having clear visibility of all unplanned absence could cause you problems. There are two big stats that stand out around unplanned absences that you have probably never thought about before.

14% of people experience mental health problems in the workplace
13% of all sickness absence in the UK can be attributed to mental health conditions

Pretty interesting stuff right? Well, you can take this a step further by collecting your own absence data. One way to collect this data is to implement a system that has return to work forms, in line with your return to work policy, that your employees are required to complete when they return to work from being ill.

Many organisations do collect this data but in an extremely inefficient way that doesn’t let them analyse it. By collecting absence data better, businesses can spot patterns and trends quickly and intervene to help employee wellbeing. To do this you will need a system with in-depth absence reporting functionality, conveying the information you need efficiently and effectively.

Employee Engagement

Another theme we picked up on that falls fair down in the iceberg was employee engagement. There are numerous challenges around employee engagement with a big part of it falling into employee wellbeing. Employees that are well looked after are far more likely to be engaged.

If a business fails to properly care for their employees by offering useful incentives and promoting a culture that champions employee wellbeing, it can lead to various issues such as employee burnout, disengagement, presenteeism, and personal issues. All of which can negatively impact employee productivity.

What does all this mean for your business?

That was a breakdown of just three of the many factors from the huge iceberg that is absence management. And even with the three, we have spoken about here, we have only just scratched the surface, with each easily being big enough to have its own talk. There is only one thing that can ensure your business is not affected by any of the plights listed above, and that is a global absence management system.

An absence management system gives businesses the platform they need to gain better visibility of all absence types, whether it’s a holiday, sickness, or anything else. On top of this, absence management systems produce valuable insights into employee absence that can be used to improve employee wellbeing and reduce the cost of absence.

Speak to one of our solution consultants today to find out more about the Edays absence management system and see it’s benefits first-hand.

Harry Customer Success Manager at edays
November 26, 2019

Harry is Head of Customer Success here at edays, helping organisations to get the very best out of their edays system. His experience in SaaS and HR brings valuable insight into how organisations can better manage their people, processes and productivity.