Read our article about appointments
Time off for appointments is generally unpaid
Encouraging employees to stay health can help
Have a robust policy
A study carried out last year by Berenden Health suggested that the average UK employee misses four full days of work a year to attend appointments, and worryingly one fifth said they’d waited until finishing their shift before going to A&E about an urgent health issue!
There’s no legal obligation on an employer to allow time off for appointments, or to pay employees who do take time off (except in the case of ante-natal appointments), but given that often these appointments are important for employee’s health, should employers be doing more to help?
If so, what could that help come in the form of?
Well other than allowing employees to take annual leave, or make the time up at a later date, there may be other things employers can do to allow employees to pro-actively take care of their health without feeling guilty or like their career may be held back.
If you provide company healthcare, check out what your policy covers. Your employees may have access to digital services, meaning they can obtain consultations outside of working hours, or during their working day with minimal disruption. Some schemes also provide prescription delivery services.
Have a Policy
Develop a policy about time off for appointments, perhaps you could allow a certain number of hours per employee as paid time to attend appointments, or offer a couple more holiday days to account for appointment needs.
If employees need eye tests because they spend a lot of time on computers, you need to contribute to the cost of the eye test and corrective lenses, if need. So why not arrange for your local optician to do a clinic in the workplace?
Communicating good wellbeing practices and encouraging staff to keep themselves healthy should contribute to a reduction in medical appointments – why not look into a wellbeing programme, access to exercise, healthy foods and information about health living.
More and more businesses are now buying into the concept of flexible working, meaning employees can manage their own time as long as their work gets done. Whether you have core hours that everyone needs to attend in, or you’re totally flexible, employees have the freedom to arrange appointments in and around their workload, with no extra pressure.
Train your managers to identify signs of burnout, stress and depression so that conversations and adaptations can take place before these things become a major issue.
Make sure employees can talk to you, or their manager, about any issues they may be facing that may require time off. It’s much better to work together to find a solution that works for everyone, and it may help you to highlight future problems and potential disability issues that need addressing.
Do you have questions about appointments?
Give us a call at CUBE HR, we’ll be happy to advise you and we have policies and templates available to meet every HR need.
Why not check out our other blog on the same topic Medical Appointments – Can You Refuse?
You can also watch a range of other videos on our YouTube channel