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28 July 1999

LRD publishes trade unionists' guide to sickness absence policy
Sickness absence control is high on both the management and political agenda. Employers view absence control as a way of cutting costs and, with the regular publication of absence rate statistics, they are likely to be comparing absences in their organisation with "benchmark" levels elsewhere.

Meanwhile a recent Cabinet Office report challenged public sector employers to cut sickness absence by 30% by the year 2003.

Trade unionists, however, will want to ensure that any changes in the organisation's sickness absence policy are fully negotiated, and that it is applied in a way which guarantees fairness and consistency.

LRD's latest booklet is a trade unionists' guide to sickness absence policy. It considers the general approach and specific measures that are needed to ensure that the focus is on employee health rather than punitive policies, and that good practice in sickness absence procedures is applied. Throughout, the booklet draws on the findings of an LRD survey on absence control carried out earlier this year among workplace trade union representatives.

Notes to editors

Sickness absence policy - a trade unionists' guide is published by the Labour Research Department, 78 Blackfriars Road, London SE1 8HF, price ?3.25 or ?10 for non-labour movement bodies.
LRD Booklets are also available on subscription at an annual cost of ?25.75 (?65.90 for non-labour movement bodies). LRD publishes 10-11 booklets a year.
The Labour Research Department is an independent trade union and labour movement organisation founded over 80 years ago. More than 2,000 trade union organisations, including 54 national unions, representing 99% of total TUC membership are affiliated.
For press enquiries only contact Lewis Emery on 0171 902 9807. The telephone number for orders is 0171 928 3649.

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