‘Early On and Up-Close’ – Initiative for Sick Leave Management

The initiatives in the specialized industry program, IA in hospitals, zeroes in on two focal areas: extended or recurring absences, known as “Early On and Up-Close,” and proactive workplace environment strategies, termed “Where It Matters Most.”

The Industry Program IA in hospitals has developed a detailed progress description including tools and templates to support managers in following up employees with recurring absences.

For this purpose, Specifique has developed the website 'Early On and Up-Close' in collaboration with the industry program.

Furthermore, the Industry Program IA in hospitals recommends strengthening cooperation between the relevant parties in order to better achieve the common goal of decreased absences and preventing high turnover through proactive facilitation and inclusion. For this purpose, a dialogue mat for collaboration between parties can be utilized, a dialogue mat developed by Specifique in collaboration with the Industry Program.

By establishing active dialogue between the employer and employees, the goal is to facilitate a better work environment and decrease the risk of recurring absences. Additionally, an important objective is to create better circumstances for employees who have had frequent absences or sick leave, promoting physical and mental health benefits and reducing turnover rates.

Active dialogue and developing a plan for monitoring frequent and recurring absences will create predictability and a better work environment for the relevant units. As sick leave and workplace absences are reduced, this will create positive consequences for the overall work environment, the workload, competence, and patient safety.

When employees can maintain their roles despite health setbacks, it benefits both the individual and the organization.

A cornerstone of ‘Early On and Up-Close’ was the development of a versatile toolbox. Tailored for managers, union representatives, and employees alike, this toolbox adopts a methodical approach to managing prolonged and recurring absences. It is organised into three phases, each complemented by distinct supporting materials, guides, and presentation templates.

Supplementing the toolbox, the initiative offers a training program targeted at leaders across all hierarchical levels and stakeholder partnerships. The program aims to

  • Fortify the synergy between managers, union reps, and safety reps
  • Equip key personnel to systematically address workplace issues that could prevent sick leave
  • Enable managers to effectively use communication techniques in individual follow-up sessions
  • Deepen managerial insights into the legal aspects of individual employee follow-ups

The goal is to enable managers, union reps, and safety reps to collaborate on conditions in the working environment that can prevent sick leave and absences.

Solid managerial support is vital for the success of 'Early On and Up-Close'.