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Top 4 Absence Management Trends in 2020

6 December 2019 4 min read

absence management trends

Just like most areas of the HR toolkit, absence management is constantly evolving to meet the expectations of the now extremely tech-savvy workforce.

We want the systems we use at work to be just as seamless as the technology we use in our day to day lives. For example, employees want to be able to book a holiday in a matter of seconds, whilst logging sickness without causing them extra stress. And managers want to have a greater insight into where their team is and why they are off absent.

For employees and managers to be able to do this, businesses need to stay in touch with the latest technology. Technology allows many businesses globally to streamline their absence management processes and put employee experience at the forefront of their minds.

To help businesses keep up with the ever-changing landscape of absence management, we have put together 4 of the biggest trends that we are expecting to see in 2020 and how the technology we use will play a key part.

1. Digitalisation will become a priority

The current workforce is the most tech-savvy we’ve seen and are refusing to suffer from the enormous admin burden that manual methods place on them. So it may come as a surprise that many businesses are still managing their absence management processes through manual methods such as paper and spreadsheets.

Businesses must adapt and embrace HR digital transformation or they risk losing their existing talent to businesses that offer technology that allows their employees to flourish. As the saying goes ‘The grass is always greener on the other side’.

Statistic about digital transformation with mini graphic


2. Greater promotion of holiday allowance as a key benefit

Holiday allowance is the single greatest workplace benefit. No matter how much an employee loves their job, they will always need a break to recharge their batteries or they risk a decline in employee productivity. The problem is that many organisations are seeing a steep rise in presenteeism with the CIPD finding that 83% of their survey respondents had observed it in the workplace. The findings were so significant that major news outlets such as the BBC reported on the matter.

To counteract this presenteeism, many organisations will encourage their employees to take their full holiday entitlement. The right technology will assist this by providing a clear overview of who has or hasn’t taken holiday, even going as far as to send users notifications to tell them to use their holiday allowance.

It will also become commonplace for organistions to allow their employees to both buy and sell holiday days to each other, a great perk for employees that require extra holiday allowance.

3. Using sickness data to better champion employee wellbeing

Over the past few years, companies have been introducing various schemes to enhance employee wellbeing. With many resorting to unconventional methods such as cryopreservation and egg freezing to bolster employee morale. But if you, like many other companies, prefer to be reserved with how you promote employee wellbeing there is another way.

The absence data you collect from your employees offers an extremely valuable way to improve employee wellbeing. If you choose to utilise the insights you gain from your employee sickness data, it presents an opportunity for your business to show employees empathy. This is the most simple way to champion employee wellbeing and a great way to get results.

96% of employees believe that showing empathy is an important way to advance employee retention (Source: Forbes)

4. The rise of virtual doctors

You may not have heard of the term telehealth or telemedicine, but in 2020 you will hear these terms more and more. Telehealth refers to offering health-related services and information through online or telecommunication technologies. It allows patients and clinicians to connect over long-distance, removing the need for individuals to visit the clinic.

One form of telehealth is virtual doctors. Virtual doctors allow their patients to book appointments through an online app and host a live video call with them. Many employers will soon be looking into the use of this form of telehealth as it can often be a struggle for employees to visit a clinic without taking time off work. This is reflected by the fact that 40% of millennials in the US are now saying that having a telemedicine option for their healthcare was “extremely or very important” and it’s expected that 91% of employers in the US are expected to offer it by 2020.

In conclusion

These are the biggest 4 absence management trends for 2020, but there are a lot of other aspects to absence management that you need to keep an eye on. You can do this by keeping up to date with our HR news library that covers all the latest news and innovation in the absence management space.

Katrina Bennett People Director at edays
December 6, 2019

Katrina is edays' own People Director with significant UK and international experience in delivering people strategy and value-adding HR solutions across a range of organisations and sectors (including Arriva, Boots, Rolls Royce, the utility and charity sectors). Katrina has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and is CIPD qualified.