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Effective Line Management is Key

CIPD highlights importance of strong absence management in UK organisations in response to TUC research

Today’s report from the TUC showing that a quarter of the workforce went to work in January despite thinking they were too ill to do so,  shows why employers need to manage absence and support employee wellbeing effectively, as the recession puts increasing pressure on their people.

Ben Willmott, the CIPD’s Senior Public Policy Adviser believes that effective line management is the key to maintaining healthy and productive workplaces, especially in an environment where work intensity and concerns over job security are on the increase:

“It is worrying that nearly a third of employees say they are more likely to go into work ill as a result of the recession. Research shows that long-term exposure to stress is linked to conditions such as anxiety and depression as well as heart disease.”

“Good absence management does involve having in place the right systems and procedures to ensure absence levels and patterns are monitored, but it also involves training line managers so that they don’t create or increase stress at work and are able to pick up the early warnings signs that might indicate that someone is not well or struggling to cope at work.”

“There is a risk that the recession will create a mental health time bomb. In an environment where people are under increasing pressure as work intensity increases and worries over job security grow, with limited opportunities to find alternative employment, how people are managed and developed becomes even more critical in terms of supporting positive mental health.”

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