Addressing Disability-Related Sickness Absence in the Workplace

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Health Assured team

20 March 2018

Disability-related sickness absence can be a situation that is difficult for managers and employers to handle. With an estimated one billion people living with disabilities worldwide, this is an issue that employers need to consider in order to remain inclusive and efficient. It is easy to think that, other than making access easier, there are minimal changes that could be made in the workplace to help disabled employees and reduce absenteeism – but that is not the case. Health Assured offer many services that can help to reduce the struggles caused by disability in the workplace. Therefore, to help better manage situations which might arise, read on to see how employee absence management works and how best to support your staff:


Reasonable Adjustments

One of the main ways in which disability-related absences can be reduced or prevented is by providing the correct aid to ensure that disabled employees are comfortable in and able to attend the workplace. The Disability Discrimination Act of 1995 means that there are reasonable adjustments which an employer is required to make in the workplace, in order to make life as easy as possible for disabled employees. These adjustments can include ensuring that an employee who requires a wheelchair is located on the ground floor or ensuring someone who suffers with anxiety gets their own desk space, rather than sharing or hotdesking with other employees.


A great way to ensure that you understand the needs of any disabled employees is to establish good communication with the employee. Effective communication with the employee will mean that you will be able to fully understand their situation, including any sickness related to the disability. This will in turn mean that you can better tailor their workspace and workload to their personal needs. As well as this, communicating with the employee will help managers develop a personal relationship with them, so staff will feel more confident to approach with any future issues. It will also mean that they are able to report any disability discrimination in the workplace to a friendly face, if they are to experience it.

What services are available to reduce disability related sickness absence?


A great way to offer support in this situation is by offering professional guidance through an employee absence management service. This service will give advice and support to employees who are dealing with any type of issue, throughout their situation. It will also help to develop a rehabilitation programme, which will make their return to work more comfortable and effective. As well as this, CISM support is available to those who have been affected by a critical incident, which could particularly help anyone whose ability has been changed as a result. Following this advice should help to make any disabled employee in the workplace feel much more supported and comfortable in their working life. For more information on how to support employees through any issues that they may be dealing with, feel free to contact us today and find out more about the services we offer.  

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