Headlines: January 12th, 2005

Research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has confirmed other surveys showing that stress-related absence by employees is on the increase. The research also revealed that employers with a clear rehabilitation policy in place are much more likely to secure an earlier return to work.The length of time an individual is off work sick has been shown to have a strong relationship to the likelihood of returning to work. Studies show that after six months absence there is only a 50 per cent chance that an employee will return to work. At 12 months this falls to 25 per cent and after two years there is practically no chance of a return.

To meet the needs of employers the Institute has produced a guide ‘Recovery, rehabilitation and retention’ which offers practical guidance on how organisations can support, rehabilitate and retain employees who are suffering from stress and other mental health problems. It emphasises that there needs to be a case management approach to rehabilitation to ensure that there is someone, whether it is a line manager, or a representative from occupational health or human resources, responsible for ensuring that an individual’s return to work is managed consistently.

The guide singles out line managers as key players in the rehabilitation process and the importance of ensuring that they are trained so they can help members of staff who have been off work sick for long periods and integrate them back into the organisation.

The Guide is available at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/guides