It is a well known fact that the UK keeps the longest working hours in Europe. This culture of long hours has been made worse by the fact that many employees have been desperate to keep their jobs during the current economic downturn.
However, while the UK has the longest working hours our employees also have the worse attendance record. According to a report by the ONI, employees in the UK take on average two sick days a month. This could be a consequence of a number of things; however, the long working hour’s culture is definitely a contributing factor.
This month sees the implementation of new employee laws relating to sick leave. The new legislation has been put in place to help address Britain’s huge issue with incapacity fraud and according to the government; it will help getting employees who have suffered poor health back into the work environment. Instead of issuing sick note, Doctor’s will now issue ‘fit for work’ notes. These documents will also contain a section where the Doctor can advise the employer of the changes into the workplace which may make the employees return to work more successful.
While the new legislation has been welcome by the majority of the SME sector, some business owners are concerned that there has been little communication from the government, informing them about the processes and protocol of the new legislation.