Our hospital is a large tertiary care institution in a publically funded health care system. We struggle with high absenteeism rates particularly among our unionized employees. Our hospital has an employee assistantship program (EAP) to assist workers to deal with issues outside of work. We also have an attendance management program.
Recent changes to the employment standards act now require that the first two days of personal emergency leave taken in a calendar year are paid by the employer. Also, the hospital now cannot require an employee to provide a medical note from a physician when the employee is taking the leave because of personal illness. There is concern that these changes to the employment standards act will result in increased absenteeism.
Recent financial challenges have reduced the overall morale of our employees. There is concern that both unionized and nonunionized positions may be eliminated. Management is concerned that the continued stress of job insecurity will only increase absenteeism further.
Any advice on how to manage high absenteeism rates in a highly unionized tertiary health care institution would be appreciated.