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HR update from HR Ops Director Jessica Whelan

myHRdept HR Ops Director Jessica Whelan
myHRdept HR Ops Director Jessica Whelan

HR update from HR Ops Director Jessica Whelan

I thought I would take a minute to look at common recent HR issues being raised by our clients.

Sickness absence on the increase

This month increasing sickness absence has been a hot topic, and it’s been featured in national press too.

According to figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the percentage of days lost to sickness absence last year was the highest in nearly two decades.

We’re often helping clients with absence management, and we have occupational health support on hand too.

The basics of absence management

If absence is a problem for you, what should you be doing about it?

To deal with a problem, you need to know the size of it, and that means recording absence data. Our HRIS is the perfect tool, but many small employers still use spreadsheets. However you do it, you need to know what absence rates are for your employees, and how that compares with the national data.

The next most important thing is to talk to your staff about their absences. myHRdept have some great videos showing you how, and how not, to manage problem attendance:

Return to work interviews let staff know that you’ve noticed their absence, and gives an opportunity for a discussion about underlying problems you might not have been aware of.

Dealing with dishonest absence

Of course, there are always those who swing the lead, and formalising your management of absence will go a long way to discouraging that – if you need more help with absence management, contact me, or any of our team.


Another topic we’re seeing quite regularly at the moment is redundancy. From time to time every employer will face a need to make changes that lead to redundancies.

myHRdept have advised on more of these than I care to remember, on we are on hand to support clients through this difficult process.

Redundancy basics

For the sake of summary here, the basics:

  • Allow plenty of preparation time – at least as much as for the consultation process itself
  • Be aware that making more than 20 people redundant in a 90-day period will trigger collective redundancy rules – a more complex scenario we can help you with
  • Make sure your business case is strong – stress test it before you make announcements
  • Allow sufficient time for consultation & remember that until consultation is complete, your proposal remains precisely that – a proposal. The purpose of a consultation is to seek ways to avoid the redundancy, or mitigate its impact if unavoidable.

myHRdept have some great information videos about redundancy and the processes you might need to be aware of:

If you’re contemplating redundancies, or you want support with your absence management, let me, or any of the team know as early as possible so we can plan in some time to support you.

Help and support from myHRdept

myHRdept retained HR (outsourcing) packages all come with support time, some of which can be redeemed against our management and staff training packages (, our HRBP and specialist support, and HR admin support.

If you’re thinking of outsourcing your HR, payroll or employment law needs, why not contact myHRdept? Call us on 01628 820515, email us at to discuss your requirements, or contact us via our website and we’ll call you back.


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