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Absence and sickness

Find out how to handle absence and sickness issues at work with our selection of articles, books and online resources.

Legal Alert

Legal Alert is a monthly checklist from Atom Content Marketing highlighting new and pending laws, regulations, codes of practice and rulings that could have an impact on your business.

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Bloomsbury Core Accounting and Tax Service

Eligible firms have free access to Bloomsbury Professional's comprehensive online library, comprising more than 60 titles from some of the country's leading tax and accounting subject matter experts. Find out who is eligible and how you can access the Core Accounting and Tax Service.

Medical absences and time off

Accountants Legal Service Bloomsbury Professional 2021

A chapter on absences, covering statutory sick pay, medical suspension pay, maternity suspension pay and rights to time off.

The Employment Contract

Accountants Legal Service Bloomsbury Professional 2021

A chapter on employment contracts, covering the value of a formal contract, fixed-term contracts, sickness absences, statutory particulars, contracts for shop workers, part-time workers, temporary workers, teleworkers, homeworkers rights and employee surveillance.


Accountants Legal Service Bloomsbury Professional 2021

This chapter covers redundancy, including unfair dismissal, redundancy while on sick leave, the amount of the payment and consultation over collective redundancies.

Family friendly arrangements

Accountants Legal Service Bloomsbury Professional 2021

A chapter on family friendly working arrangements, covering topics including time off for ante-natal care, maternity leave, parental leave, flexible working hours, time off for dependants, statutory maternity, paternity and adoption pay, sex discrimination in pregnancy, maternity rights and bereavement leave.

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the Acceptable usage terms.


The Library provides full text access to a selection of key business and reference eBooks from leading publishers. eBooks are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users. If you are unable to access an eBook, please see our Help and support advice or contact library@icaew.com.

Dealing with absence

This chapter of the handbook looks at absence from work, both planned and unplanned. Policies and procedures for reducing unplanned absences are dealt with as are the question of pay during absence and dealing with persistent absence.

Rights of employees

These sections of the chapter on employment looks at the following aspects: The national minimum wage; The Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE); Working Time Regulations 1998; authorised deductions from wages; time off work.

Terms of use: You are permitted to access, download, copy, or print out content from eBooks for your own research or study only, subject to the terms of use set by our suppliers and any restrictions imposed by individual publishers. Please see individual supplier pages for full terms of use.

Acas guidance

Advice, guidance and practical resources on a wide variety of recruitment topics for both employers and employees, produced by the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service, Acas. Acas is the employment relations service for England, Scotland and Wales offering practical, independent and impartial advice to employers, employees and their representatives.


Absence from work

Acas advice for employers on how to manage and minimise employee attendance problems.

Capability procedures

Acas advice on how to manage capability issues - a procedure based on encouraging their employee to improve.

Time off work for training

Acas advice on employee rights regarding time off for training, aimed at both employees and employers.

Using occupational health at work

Acas guidance on the use of occupational health - what is it, when it is used and what happens in an occupational health assessment.

Online articles

The Library provides access to leading business, finance and management journals. These journals are available to logged-in ICAEW members, ACA students and other entitled users subject to suppliers' terms of use.

Counting the cost of poor mental health

The article reports on the Deloitte study as of April 2020, which showed that businesses in Great Britain losses as much as 45 billion pounds a year due to poor mental health of workers.

Get well SOONER

This article looks at how human resource (HR) professionals can address the problem of long-term sickness absence of employees, examining topics including the emerging culture of presenteeism and its impact to HR professionals trying to manage their workforce's absence levels, cost of long-term sickness to employers in the private sector and mental health as a major cause of long-term sickness.

Britain's presenteeism crisis

The article reports that presenteeism or the number of employees going to work while sick has increased in Great Britain between 2010 and 2018. Topics discussed include the factors that drive employees to go to work despite not feeling well, the implication of the trend for the well-being of employees and the ways in which presenteeism can hurt business organizations in the long run. Also discussed are the steps that line managers should take to address the problem of presenteeism.

How to beat workplace stress

The article focuses on research on workplace stress and methods of overcoming or preventing stress. It states that in 2016-2017 in Great Britain nearly 49 percent of all working days lost were a result of anxiety, depression, or work-related stress.

Why doesn't our absence policy work?

The article offers an answer to a question about the failures of managers to conduct investigations of employees for sickness absences.

Brown Smith Wallace: Investing in the whole employee

This article focuses on Brown Smith Wallace LLC, a accountancy top 100 firm that employs 292 people. It is noted that the company offers flexible working as employees know that their chances at advancement will not be hurt by taking time off or working nonstandard arrangements. It is stated that through a robust continuing education program called Brown Smith Wallace University, the firm invests in its employees' development.

Time for a rethink on sickness absence?

The article discusses some recommendations to address sickness absence in Great Britain including government's provision of tax incentives for employers that support employees through a period of prolonged absence and creation of support systems for employees.

Impact of the fit to work service

The article reports on the Fit for Work service that offers impartial advice for dealing with long-term absence on employees in Great Britain.

Court rules how to handle ill-health dismissals

The article focuses on an unfair dismissal lawsuit filed against his former employer by a person. Dundee City Council in Scotland dismissed an employee in September 2009 after he was sick for 272 days because of stress and depression. The Employment Tribunal ruled in favour of the employee as it felt that the council did not conduct a thorough investigation into his health

The hidden cost of sick leave

The article discusses the issue of employees who are out on long-term sick leave also being entitled by law to take their vacation days when they return, or take payment for them in lieu of the time, and how this is a burden to employers. It focuses on stress being one of the major causes of sick leave, and that under British employment law, the employer is obligated to try to reduce work pressures if an employee is diagnosed with depression.

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Absence management

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

Guidance and information from CIPD on absence management, absence procedures and return to work after sickness. Registration is required to view most of the content.

Fit notes

Department for Work and Pensions Updated April 2018

Government guidance for GPs, employers, hospital doctors and occupational health practitioners on using fit notes (statements of fitness for work). Fit notes replaced sick notes in 2010.

If you need to self-isolate or cannot attend work due to coronavirus

Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy

Guidance for employers and workers on work absences due to COVID-19. It highlights the penalties for asking employees to work somewhere other than where they are self-isolating, when to tell employers if you must quarantine, Statutory Sick Pay, leave, dismissal, redundancy, reasonable adjustments, pregnancy and maternity, and returning to the workplace.

Managing sickness absence and return to work

Health and Safety Executive

Guidance from the HSE including Guidance for employers, case studies and research reports including 'Managing health at work - recording and monitoring information on sickness absence including work relatedness'

Statutory leave and time off

HM Government

Collection of Government guidance on statutory leave and time off, including holiday entitlement, statutory sick pay, maternity, paternity and adoption leave and pay, time off for jury service and other public duties.

Articles and books in the Library collection

To find out how you can borrow books from the Library please see our guide to book loans.

You can obtain copies of articles or extracts of books and reports through our document supply service.

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