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It may be summer but the sun doesn't always favour an Employer

Published 07 July 2015

The sun may have put in a welcome appearance but it can signal the start of a seasonal headache for employers.

Almost half of the people quizzed for a study admitted working fewer hours when the sun is out, with 1.8 hours a week lost per employee on average.

The cost of summertime skiving to UK businesses is nearly £8billion a year, according to research carried out by business supply firm Approved Index.

Summer is defined as the start of June through to the end of August.

Employees ‘pulling a sickie’ at a time of year when most workers book their summer hols, can seriously stretch an already depleted workforce.

It can pile added pressure on to those who do show up as expected, cause added stress to a skeleton workforce and increase the likelihood for mistakes to be made.

Forward thinking bosses may wish to consider offering up incentives such as free cold drinks, ice lollies or an early finish when work is completed or targets hit.

A cool and comfortable working environment will also prevent everyone from getting a bit hot under the collar.

The fact many employees see no harm in taking unauthorised time off, providing it is not on a regular basis, is problematic.

Although having an established and effective absence policy in place will help to deal with any worker found to have been dishonest about the real reason for an absence.

This was highlighted by a case last year when a medical professional was fired after being exposed moonlighting as a TV commentator while off sick.

Employees can also feel pressured to take unauthorised time off when the real reason for the absence is family related.

The Work and Families Act 2006 allows workers unpaid leave to care for dependents in an emergency.

It is advisable that businesses take a balanced and reasonable approach to any request for time off outside of annual leave.

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