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9 absence management solutions to manage employee leave & sickness

HR online absence management software is developing at lightning speed. But 25% of UK businesses are still only in the early stages of automating HR tasks. More importantly, 88% of small businesses say automation will help them to compete with larger businesses across their sector.  

Managing employee leave and sickness absence is a stress many HR teams face. It can have a significant impact on productivity, performance, workload, and staff morale

Manage employee leave and sickness efficiently with HR automation tools.

In this guide, you’ll find some of the key benefits of managing employee sickness along with nine efficient solutions to streamline HR and leave management processes for your organisation.

  • Why do you need an absence management strategy?
  • Why is managing employee attendance important?
  • The benefits of managing employee absence 
  • 9 solutions to simplify your HR absence management system
  • Are you ready to step up your employee absence management processes?

Why managing employee attendance is important

Good employee attendance tracking goes beyond knowing how many hours people work. It’s about having a complete understanding of the who, why, what, and how when it comes to employees taking the time off work.

Given the fact that the latest data from The Office for National Statistics (ONS) show an increase in the sickness absence rate in the UK, a robust absence management process in place gives you access to real-time data–influencing decision-making. Planning staff cover, for example, or deciding to recruit a new hire following retirement are decisions you’ll make based on having accurate information.

The benefits of managing employee absence

The advantages of managing employee absence are two-fold; for your employee and your business.

Increase productivity

Absence management processes help you track specific projects and allocate resources where needed. Good absence management helps you understand the impact of staff sickness on specific projects and identify ways to mitigate the effects quickly and easily. 

Let’s take a deeper look at how online HR digital solutions for managing absence can improve productivity across your organization.

  • Increased employee satisfaction. Almost three-quarters of employees said the more work benefits they have, the happier they are with their job. Help staff understand what benefits they are entitled to if they are off sick or need to take other leave, such as parental or special leave with a simple employee self-service portal. 

  • Improved employee motivation. Good leave management processes allow absent employees to return to work feeling refreshed and motivated–resulting in them being more productive when they return to work. Have accurate records at your disposal for return-to-work meetings or when sending sickness documents.

  • Gain a wider focus on business priorities. Managing attendance allows HR teams to work efficiently by focusing on critical tasks, such as learning and development, rather than worrying about having data needed for management reports or HMRC.

Improve workplace culture

Do you want to attract top talent? Having a great work culture is one of the top priorities for people looking for a new job. In fact, 88% of job seekers say that a healthy work culture is essential for success. 

Managing employee absence not only helps you manage individual sick and leave periods, but it also provides you data to start reviewing cultures by evaluating the workplace risks to employee health and well-being. 

Aside from the fact that 76% of employees said the workload is a source of stress at work, identifying the factors that may be contributing to increased stress can reduce absenteeism. 

Good absence management processes allow you to look at trends and put in place new policies that help reduce absenteeism, such as flexible working or stress management strategies.

Address issues at an individual level

Managing employee attendance isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. Have a complete overview of employee absences at an individual level, regardless of their work base or working pattern. 

Online absence management software provides you with the information you need before approaching an employee about an attendance problem. Sickness dates, nature, frequency, and patterns of sickness allow you to discuss concerns and agree on the best way forward.

"We needed something that we could adapt to suit our requirements, as we have various different employment types and shift patterns. The easy-to-use dashboard means that employees are able to simply request time off, and managers have full visibility to track and approve leave.”

–Simon Roose, Business Development Director at MBS Equipment Company

9 solutions to simplify your HR absence management system

More and more organisations are investing in HR online absence management software to manage employee leave and sickness. In fact, the latest Pulse Survey 2022 by PwC states 22% of companies are implementing new HR technologies and making information easily accessible.


Having said that you shouldn’t rush and buy the first employee absence solution you can find. 

Let Appogee Leave save you time and effort searching. Automate repetitive and standardised tasks–making it easy to track and report on all types of staff leave, including annual leave, sickness, working from home, unpaid leave, compassionate leave, and more. 

Discover nine ways to streamline and automate your staff absence management processes next.

1. Schedule employee leave and sickness

Appogee HR Leave and absence management software


The impact of poor quality data costs businesses 10-30% of revenue. And that figure isn’t just about the monetary costs. Include the costs of missed opportunities, a loss of reputation, and higher-risk decision making and you’re on the way to substantially reducing your profit margin.

Have the right tools and knowledge in place to help you deal with employee absences efficiently. Identify if changes are needed in the workplace to remove or reduce any disadvantages (reasonable adjustments). 

Appogee’s simple interface gives you access to employee medical reports along with absence history–making it easy to have often sensitive conversations with employees without searching around for information. In fact, 61% of employers reported that they had faced barriers in supporting employees to return to work following a long-term sickness absence. 

Plus, rostering staff to cover an employee's medical appointment, or paying the wrong amount of sick leave, takes time and effort. Have absence management processes that give you access to information in real-time, anywhere, and on any device–allowing you to make good business decisions. 

Simplify employee absence management with cloud-based HR self-service portals that operate fully online by:

  • Navigating company policies and procedures easily
  • Accessing employee leave and sickness information instantly
  • Complying with HR rules and regulations with accurate information, for example, maternity or parental leave

2. Authorise simple requests and approvals

Some 80% of employees are stressed due to inefficient company communication. Appogee Leave offers a simple HR employee self-service portal that allows employees to focus on their workload, rather than spend undue amounts of time requesting annual leave or Time off in Lieu (TOIL), or if you’re in the US, Compensatory Time Off (Comp Time). 

Equally important are the benefits for you. A clear dashboard allows you to access medical certifications, and approve TOIL, and other leave requests, leaving you time to focus on other HR-related matters.

3. Customise employee allowances

configurable sickness and leave management hr software

How much time do you waste searching for information to advise an employee about the benefits they’re entitled to? As each employee has a different profile, their start date, job role, or salary scale can all affect what benefits they are entitled to. 

Simplify the process with a fully customisable employee benefits programme. Allocate a set leave allowance at the start of the year for each member of staff, changing to the pro-rata amount if required. Understand holiday accrual date milestones and ensure employees receive the leave allowance they’re entitled to–at the right time. 

4. Manage public holidays

Manually entering public holidays onto a spreadsheet each year is painstakingly tiresome. Even worse, the dates change each year, so it’s not even a task that you can do once and the job is done!

Online absence management software allows you to integrate with other platforms, such as Google Calendar, so that public holidays will automatically be inserted into the system. 

Have a complete overview of the year ahead. Align staff rotas and understand what additional cover is needed whilst having access to contractual information, such as the rights of part-time workers, or those with irregular working patterns.  

5. Request attachments

employee sickness monitoring


Around half a million letters a week go missing in the post. Avoid the risk of having confidential pieces of paper floating around the office or important HR documents going missing in the post with HR technology. 

Reduce the number of sensitive paper documents in your organisation, such as:

  • Wage slips
  • Employment contracts
  • Medical certificates
  • Jury request letters
  • Performance review documentation

Request and store attachments electronically. Employees can select a new request from their own dashboard and submit documents with delay–giving you the option of viewing any outstanding documents and chasing up when needed.

6. Automate carryover entitlements

Monitoring annual leave entitlements and carrying over outstanding leave manually is an arduous task. It’s time-consuming and open to human error.

Avoid the risk of multiple members of staff requesting leave at the same time before the accrual year ends. Sometimes, employees request part of their annual leave entitlement is carried over to the following year. This can be for a variety of reasons, from planning a holiday of a lifetime to caring for a family member following surgery. Perhaps you have agreed together to delay taking annual leave to meet a business target.

However, there can be a downside to carrying over leave. Hardworking staff may be burnt out by this point. Almost eight in ten UK workers commonly experience work-related stress. Having said that, it’d be easy to say that employees would be intent on using all of their annual leave allowances each year.  However, that isn’t the case. Glassdoor found that the average employee only takes 62% of their holiday allowance. 

Have the option to automate annual leave carryover to the following year with a HR transformation tool that can automate the whole process for you. 

7. Schedule unlimited paid time off 

In today’s competitive job market, employee well-being, perks, and work/harmony balance initiatives are essential to attracting the best industry talent. If your organisation offers unlimited paid time off as part of your benefits package, you’ll need a simple way of managing it.

Managing paid time off seems fairly straightforward. But how do you keep track of the variations employees request, such as asking to take a three-day weekend or parental leave when their children are sick?  

Have the ability to manage unlimited paid time off efficiently so employees can take as many days of time off as they need, with customisable solutions that can be configured to your company's policies.

There’s no doubt offering a flexible work environment and treating your employees as responsible adults improve employee satisfaction; invest in an HR solution that helps manage the whole process. 

8. Support for annual accrual

Your internal annual leave policy usually determines at what point employees can earn paid time off. Some companies accrue leave in the same manner; others have variable parameters. 

Find out how much annual leave is remaining when an employee hands in their resignation. Action additional pay in their final salary, based on their current rate of pay—not at the rate that applied when the employee originally became entitled to the leave.

Take a look at how Appogee HR leave can support your organisation to manage accruals: 

    • Bonuses for TOIL and overtime. Employers can reward employees for overtime by adding annual leave time to their leave balances.
  • Setting a waiting period. A waiting period is set before an employee’s leave starts accruing, set by your company HR policies.
  • Cashing out annual leave. A prearranged agreement where employees can take their annual leave in cash via their salary. 

9. Simplify on-demand reporting

Online employee absence management solutions offer a range of reporting and analytical features to allow you to identify organisational issues, when it comes to employee absence reporting.

Understand the scale of a business problem or notice trends and patterns. High sickness across a particular team or demographic can highlight problems with excessive workloads, low staff morale, or worse, high turnover rates.

What’s more, all organisations must keep confidential, accurate, and legible HR records, such as:

  • Applicant information
  • Personnel details
  • Medical certificates, and other correspondence to and from the employee about absence
  • Employment contracts
  • Performance appraisal documents

Employers need to demonstrate that they have acted reasonably and in good faith when deciding to terminate an employee’s contract of employment. 

Effective absence management systems collect, use and store information about their employees’ absence–complying with internal and external laws and regulations, such as the Data Protection Act 1998.   

Are you ready to step up your employee absence management processes?

An all-in-one customisable leave management system from Appogee HR can benefit your business.

Our customisable leave planner allows you to streamline routine HR features and ensure that daily tasks are completed as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Save time with leave and sickness tracking and on-demand reporting.  Better understand employee trigger points alerting you when specific criteria are met–all of which align with your own company policies.

Can you see some of these pain points in your business? Appogee Leave offers an extensive range of features to support you. We also offer a demo to showcase these features or a 14-day free trial where you can try them out for yourself.

Why you need absence management tech - Appogee HR