Leave Master Blogs

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Using LeaveMaster, you can book and approve time off and keep track of who’s in and who’s out of the office, quickly, easily and efficiently. It gives everyone in your company access to a fast and fuss-free online system.

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In yesterday’s blog, we discussed how the government’s new “fit note” scheme has received a lukewarm response from doctors and employers.

The aim of the scheme is to reduce the number of days lost to absence in the UK every year, by allowing doctors to say what work staff, who would otherwise be off on long-term sick leave, can do, as well as what they cannot.
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The government’s new “fit note” scheme, which came into effect last month, does not appear to have been particularly effective in reducing staff absenteeism, having neither been embraced by employers or GPs.

The scheme replaces the traditional doctor's sick note with an electronic Statement of Fitness for Work that allows doctors to say what work their patients can do as well as what they cannot.

But according to an article (link to: ) published on hrmagazine.co.uk, fit notes have so far received a lukewarm reaction from both GPs and employers.

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With the start of the 2010 FIFA World Cup less than a month away, the CIPD has issued a guide for employers on managing staff absence during the tournament.

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An advertising campaign for Coca-Cola’s Glaceau Vitamin Water brand, which appears to encourage staff to take unwarranted sick days, has been criticised by the former head of the CBI, as well as small business groups.

The text of the advert reads: “If you’ve had to use sick days because you’ve actually been sick, then you’re seriously missing out….the trick is to stay perky and use sick days to just not go in.”

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One of the benefits of implementing LeaveMaster in your organisation is that it speeds up and streamlines key HR processes and procedures that would otherwise be time-consuming and labour intensive, such as filling in holiday forms, processing leave requests, recording staff absences and calculating leave balances.

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Following the Department of Health’s pledge to save over £4 billion in the NHS, including savings of £550 million in reduced absence costs, efficiency savings have become a hot topic.

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In an earlier blog this week, we discussed how LeaveMaster can be easily integrated with systems and solutions such as Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint Portal and Windows Active Directory. But did you know you can also easily and seamlessly integrate LeaveMaster with Microsoft Outlook?

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When we developed LeaveMaster, we designed it to be a seamless part of an organisation’s day-to-day activities and working procedures, so that staff and managers could quickly and effortlessly book and authorise leave, and manage all forms of absence, without interrupting their work.
 
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Because we developed LeaveMaster to substantially reduce the amount of time your employees and managers need to spend on holiday and absence administration, we’ve made it as simple and as effortless to use as possible.

In fact, booking and approving holidays, and recording and monitoring all types of absence, on LeaveMaster is so quick and easy, we’re confident that, when you implement LeaveMaster in your organisation, you will only need to provide your employees with minimal, if any, user training.

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By allowing employees and managers to book, authorise and monitor any type of leave or absence using a fast, online system, LeaveMaster automates and accelerates your organisation’s entire holiday booking and absence management process and offers an outstanding return on investment.

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We are pleased to announce that we have added a Frequently Asked Questions section to the LeaveMaster website.

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The new European Court of Justice ruling that will allow employees who fall ill on holiday to convert their annual leave into sick leave will have a negative impact on over half of Britain’s small businesses, a poll   has found.


The poll was conducted by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) who interviewed almost 1,500 small businesses, with 54% of respondents saying that allowing employees who fall ill during a period of scheduled annual leave to convert their holiday into sick leave and rearrange their annual leave for a later date, will have a negative affect on their business.
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The chairman of the British Medical Association's GPs committee, Dr Laurence Buckman, has expressed concerns about the government’s new “fit note” system, which came into effect on April 6.

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According to the latest employee absence management survey  conducted by the CIPD, the majority of working time that is lost to absence in the UK every year is the result of short-term absences.

The CIPD's tenth national survey of absence management policy and practice found that approximately two-thirds of all working time lost to absence in the UK is the result of short term sick leave of up to seven days, with only 17% caused by absences of between eight days and four weeks, and a similar percentage caused by absences of four weeks or longer.

Short-term staff absences arguably cause much more damage to businesses than longer-term employee absenteeism. When an employee is away for a long period, their work can usually be parcelled out and cover arranged for their position. But if a member of staff suddenly takes a day off sick, cover usually can’t be arranged in time and, instead, key tasks are either neglected, or the absentee’s colleagues have to do extra work: affecting productivity and morale.

By using LeaveMaster in conjunction with the Bradford Factor, however, you can deter unwarranted staff absenteeism and significantly reduce the number of short-term absences in your organisation.

Click here to find out more.

According to an article posted on the BBC website last week, Merseyside Fire and Rescue has cut its sickness absence rates in half by introducing an incentive scheme that rewards 100% attendance.

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Today sees the launch of the government’s new "fit note" scheme, which replaces the traditional doctor's sick note with an electronic Statement of Fitness for Work that allows doctors to say what work their patients can do as well as what they cannot.

However, according to the findings of a new survey , only 22% of employers believe these new “fit notes” will reduce absence levels in their organisations.

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We reported on Friday that, needing to make efficiency savings of £4.35 billion over the next three years, the NHS could save over £300m by using an online absence management system such as LeaveMaster to automate procedures such as holiday booking and leave processing.

However, the estimated saving of £302 million, which we calculated the Department of Health could make, may actually be quite conservative and, in reality, the Department could save millions more.
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The Department of Health has announced (link to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/8586016.stm) that it will make efficiency savings of £4.35bn over the next three years. This includes savings of £555m that the Department claims will be made by reducing sickness absence amongst health service staff.

Interviewing the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne, on BBC’s Newsnight, Jeremy Paxman questioned the Department of Health’s ability to reduce its absence costs by £555m, pointing out that a Department of Health review on sickness in the NHS, which quoted the figure of £555m, did not contain a single detailed proposal for how the savings could be made.

However, we’ve estimated that over £300m can be saved in the NHS by using an absence management system to automate procedures such as holiday booking and leave processing.
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As highlighted in earlier blogs , when employees call in sick, it’s much more likely to be because they want to play the latest videogames, go shopping with friends or recover from weekend activities, than because they are legitimately ill and unable to work.

Although many organisations have an absence management system in place for monitoring this type of staff absenteeism, these systems are typically only seen, and used, by the organisation’s HR department and may not be seen, or even known about, by staff. As a result, they only record absenteeism and do not actively deter it.
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As noted in a previous blog, with a high number of employees typically submitting holiday requests at this time of the year, LeaveMaster not only enables you to process those requests quickly and efficiently, but also gives you an instant overview of all holiday that has been booked across your organisation.

However, a key benefit of LeaveMaster is that it accurately records and monitors all types of employee leave and absence, not just staff holidays. This means you can see, at-a-glance, not only who has booked annual leave, and when, in your organisation, but also when members of staff are going to be away on training days, or are taking days off in lieu, or even are taking a period of unpaid leave.
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