Human Resources Division

Advice on managing individual cases

If the staff member is away from work

Do's Do nots

Follow up personally any absence from work over 3 days. This can be in the form of a phone call:

How are you?

Is there anything we can do?

Do this even though the person may have "rung in"

Do not leave this to others unless there is a concrete reason to do so: the personal touch can be critical.

Do not go overboard especially if there was a poor relationship initially.


If it is a prolonged absence (over 2 weeks) maintain regular contact.

If appropriate arrange a personal visit perhaps with a co-worker. If appropriate arrange flowers, get well card, etc.

Do not forget about the person. Do not start to believe that it is "for the best" that the person is away.

After any prolonged absence (over 1 month) arrange a suitable return to work program.

If the absence involves sickness or injury, consider limited hours and duties. Even if it is a holiday, people take time to get back into the swing of things.

Do not give a returning worker a month's backlog to catch up with in the next week, as well as their normal job.
If the person's absence is welcomed by you or other employees, then you have a major problem. Similarly, if you believe there is no good reason for the absence, do something about it. Do not ignore difficult situations: they inevitably get worse. Do not be reluctant to start the formal disciplinary/warning system if justified

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4th October 2012