HSE launches absence tool for SMEs

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is to launch a system to help small and medium-sized employers (SMEs) reduce sickness absence levels.

The software, which has been developed by the Institute of Occupational Medicine, helps employers build an employee sickness absence database, which can then be used to identify trigger points for problematic absentees. It also includes advice on tackling absence and links to further information on the topic.

A prototype is being tested by the Healthy Working Lives Research Group at the University of Glasgow. The HSE expects to make a working model available on its website by the end of this year. It then intends to make the product available via Workplace Health Connect, its partner advisory service for workplace health, which can provide support services for the software.

Keith Wiley, head of the sickness absence and return-to-work unit in the health and work division of the HSE, said he hoped the product would lead to a better control over absence.

In a separate move, The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, has teamed up with the HSE and Acas, to produce a free online sickness absence toolkit available at www.cipd.co.uk.