In 2015/16, a total of 2.16 million days were lost to teacher sickness absence, which equates to an average of 4.1 days lost for every teacher.
When teachers are absent, a fundamental requirement is to have supply teachers to cover the classes for that day, which subsequently results in additional costs for schools and Multi Academy Trusts (MATs). With budgets as tight as ever across the sector, preparing for these types of costs could be the difference between being in budget, and over.
Whilst we can’t help when we are ill, or when accidents happen, keeping track of these both as an employee and an employer can be useful. Having this data easily accessible within the institution has an array of advantages; one of which being the forecasting of budgets. By recording this data accurately over the school year, when budgets are being decided for the coming year, management can easily reference the number of sick days taken by staff, and the subsequent expense of supply teachers during this period. This means a more accurate forecast of this cost can be made, further impacting the wider Academy or Trust as a result of budget allocation to different departments.
Additionally, with the recording of accidents in the workplace, institutions can be aware of the types of accidents which occur and look to put measures in place to prevent these in the future, further saving funds.
A HR System which supports you
In addition to tracking staff sickness, accidents and absences, a HR system that enables the analysis of this data further supports CPD and employment amongst staff. For example, if some members of staff have had a particularly low absence rate, then providing additional training so their skills can be utilised more effectively across the Academy or MAT would be advantageous.
What can also be determined from these patterns in the regularity of absences is whether funds are being spent effectively. Having employees who consistently take more sick leave than others could be seen as an inefficient use of funds; by being more aware of these trends, you workforce can be managed in a more resourceful way.