Scroll down

Short-term sickness meeting guide

Managers should follow the guidelines below when conducting a short-term sickness absence meeting.

Prior to the meeting

The meeting should be arranged verbally or via email by the manager with the member of staff giving at least 14 days notice of a stage one or two formal review meeting. Seven days notice must be provided for any subsequent wellbeing meetings.

Prepare and review:

  • previous sickness history, check for any patterns of absence
  • stage one or two letters and dates of any reviews
  • Occupational Health reports
  • any previous support that has been requested or offered


  • Acknowledge everyone present in the meeting (and confirm they are happy to proceed if unaccompanied)
  • Explain the purpose of the meeting (i.e. to discuss short-term sickness episodes and review stages in accordance with the Trust’s absence and attendance procedure)
  • Ask the member of staff how they are currently feeling
  • Provide the member of staff with an opportunity to discuss their health and any support they require
  • Review previous documentation (e.g. when stage one was issued, any review meetings, further sickness indicators etc.)
  • Confirm the reason for the latest episode of sickness and check if symptoms are now resolved
  • Confirm the details of sickness episodes within the 12 month rolling period and highlight any common trends (i.e. reasons for absence and patterns of non-attendance)
  • Explain the process moving forward (e.g. escalation to stage one/two and monitoring periods and the duration of the monitoring period – explain potential escalation if further absences occur that cause concern)

General wellbeing

Discuss what support the staff member is receiving outside of work, such as:

  • GP appointments
  • hospital appointments
  • counselling
  • medication
  • review appointments

Occupational Health

  • If a referral has not yet been made to Occupational Health, then discuss arranging a management referral as a measure of support
  • If you are in receipt of recent Occupational Health advice, discuss any reports with them
  • Ask what support they require which you could provide
  • If the staff member failed to attend any appointments, discuss the reasons why

Other supportive measures

  • Discuss if hours, role and work pattern are OK
  • Discuss any reasonable adjustments which may be required
  • Any other support management can offer to assist regular attendance
  • Refer to Trust health and wellbeing initiatives (i.e. Staff Support, Physiotherapy, Mindfulness, Chaplaincy etc.)
  • Reasonable adjustments

Any other concerns

  • Any communication issues during the absence must also be addressed

Closing the meeting

  • Agree further review date on a three monthly basis. For three-month interim monitoring meeting at least seven days notice will be given
  • Follow up the meeting with a documented letter and retain a copy in the personal file, and send a copy to First Contact or the allocated HR advisor and staff member
Back to top