Managers should prepare to interview habitual absentees by collating relevant facts concerning their attendance record and checking organisational norms. The purpose of an interview will be to try to establish the reason(s) for the frequent absences and to discuss and agree what can be done to achieve an improvement in the employee’s attendance.

It is important to be prepared for a potentially difficult interview. An employee who is genuinely unwell may be very sensitive and become upset. One who is less genuine may become very indignant and defensive. The interviewer should concentrate on taking a positive approach to getting the employee back into a reliable pattern of working.

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