Publish date: 1 November 2023

I’d like to thank colleagues for supporting the introduction of the new Absence Manager process.

To date there has been an 80 per cent compliance with individuals who have an unplanned absence phoning into the Absence Manager line. That’s a positive start and we now want to see this raise to 100 per cent. 

Calling the local rate number 0330 818 6439 captures absence information in relation to sickness, carers and compassionate leave. It automatically notifies managers or their nominated deputy. This system is a culture change for many but its implementation is a positive for the Trust. It’s been live now for a number of weeks and is giving us valuable data to support wellbeing and occupational health.

The system is really important for us: it helps to give us data to improve attendance levels and assist colleagues who are unwell to get the support they need more quickly.

Can I remind everyone again that ESR must be kept up to date. Managers - when new staff come to you, you need to update the ESR hierarchy accordingly as you cannot manage your staff’s absence with outdated ESR.

Also, it’s vital that absences are recorded accurately. If we don’t have the reason for the absence, we cannot act on it or refer it to occupational health.

A quick checklist:

Colleagues need to:

  • Note down 0330 818 6439 and your assignment number
  • Have your assignment number ready to report an absence
  • Be aware that your manager will call you back via the absence manager system within 24 hours
  • Update the expected ‘fit for work’ if it changes (the first calendar day after your absence is expected to end: note this may not be a day you are working if you do not have a shift scheduled)
  • Close the absence when you return to work (confirming your ‘fit for work’ date, which may have been before your actual return to work date)

Managers need to support their staff by:

  • Review and update ESR hierarchy regularly
  • Call the employee back within 24 hours on 0330 818 6440
  • (remember to press * at the end of the call to return to main menu and confirm successful call back or voicemail)
  • Update type and reason in Absence Manager as soon as possible
  • Complete the return to work interview within 48 hours once the absence has been closed by the employee.

There’s a set of questions and answers, plus training guides on YourSpace. You can reach these pages on any web enabled device at work or home.

We know the new system is different from the ways many colleagues have recorded absence in previous years. Absence Manager will help us to manage unexpected leave more effectively and give us valuable data on how we can resource and support people with sickness and other periods of absence.

Thank you for your support.