What is a duvet day and should we encourage them?

History of the duvet day 

It is said that duvet days originated in the UK in 1997. August One Communications introduced the scheme that allowed employees time off that was not pre-planned or sickness. The idea behind duvet days was to reduce the number of sick days that were taken, specifically the days when an employee is ‘pulling a sickie’.

Benefits of the duvet day 

Introducing duvet days can ensure that employees feel that they are being treated with respect. As a result they become more productive in the workplace. The scheme also allows employees to avoid lying to their employers, specifically on days where they are not in the right frame of mind to work. Promoting honesty in the workplace and not lying about being ‘sick’.

Drawbacks of the duvet day 

Idleness could be encouraged, and also a lack of responsibility for overindulgence the night before might become the norm in the workplace. If the duvet day does not offer any additional perks to retain staff, then perhaps it isn’t right for your company.

Adding duvet days to your business 

To add duvet days to your business you need to think of how you will make it work and also the steps you need to take to implement it. Below is a checklist of things you need to think about:

  1. Implementing a Duvet Day Policy – new and existing employees
  2. Number of days (majority of employers offer two per year)
  3. Time of year days can be taken
  4. Days of the week that can be taken

Duvet days vs mental health days 

In 2017 an employee was praised by her employer for taking a ‘mental health’ day. (Read about this story here)

But what is the difference between a mental health day and a duvet day? 

A duvet day in essence is a day that is taken when you are not sick but would like a day to rest and recharge yourself. Mental health days are a sick day and employers are encouraged to treat time of work because of mental health the same as days taken off for physical health problems.

While it may be easier for an employee to take a duvet day or say they have food poising to avoid having a conversation about mental health, all employees should be encouraged to talk to their employer to allow for potential reasonable adjustments.

Sickness absence management 

Having an employee call in sick is frustrating but inevitable. Employees will have sickness at some time and be unable to attend the work place. Stress as a reason for sickness is difficult to manage and it is on the increase, sick notes being extended and long-term sickness situations can be frustrating to manage. Frustration can come from feeling there is nothing that you can do about this, but there is.

Could two million of the UK’s lowest paid workers soon be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay?

Today it has been announced that millions of the UK’s low-paid workers could become eligible for Statutory Sick Pay for the first time under new government proposals.

The Department for Work and Pensions announced that they would be consulting on new policies which it claims, could help businesses support and retain employees with disabilities and health conditions, it is proposed that this would be achieved by lowering the eligibility threshold for Statutory Sick Pay (SSP).

As with any changes to Government policies, this is met with both pros and cons, and today there has been plenty of debate following the announcement with multiple differing perspectives, including a rather interesting talking point on Radio Two!

Continue reading “Could two million of the UK’s lowest paid workers soon be eligible for Statutory Sick Pay?”

How can employers effectively support employee financial wellbeing?

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Many people reading the title of this post will be wondering why is employee financial wellbeing important, and what does it have to do with me as an employer?

Financial worries account for the majority of stress felt by employees in the workplace today, this can be attributed to the rising costs of living combined with the stagnation of salaries. However, the impact that personal finances has on your employee’s health in terms of poor psychological wellbeing, higher stress and anxiety levels, can be felt heavily by the employer such as increased levels of absence and lower levels of productivity.

Continue reading “How can employers effectively support employee financial wellbeing?”