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"For Retail real time data is vital, allowing managers to plan efficiently and to reduce operational disruption." Neil Smith, United Biscuits


As within any organisation employee health and low absence rates are vital but within a manufacturing organisation, if employees are consistently absent it can have a serious and immediate impact on production.

Our partner United Biscuits found themselves in an all too common position, their absence rates were too high, and they did not have the tools to effectively manage short and long term unplanned absence.  Their policies and procedures were overcomplicated and often not properly understood. They were unable to effectively measure or report on absence, and unable to provide managers and employees with a simple and effective way to handle absence matters. Their Employee Health and Wellbeing Teams were over stretched and they were struggling to address problems in a timely manner, as managers often made absence an “OH Issue”.

These issues were a costly drain on the profitability of the business via lost days and Company Sick Pay. Often employees were found to “drift” into long term sickness absence.

Feature Requirements

When UB decided to go to market to look for a solution to help them manage absence it was imperative to them that the line manager still held the accountability to manage their employee’s absence.  Empactis Absence Manager provided them with this, as well as the other features they were looking for;

  • Accurate real time absence MI
  • Data pushed to managers, so they don’t have to find it
  • Absence related tasks easily identifiable by managers
  • Cost effective system
  • MI that enables and supports the EHW preventative strategy
  • Supports managers of managers with real time picture of absence

Benefits and Results:

UB now have real time data at their fingertips which has delivered many benefits and allowed UB to work with the absence data in many ways;

  • The business case was approved on a 0.7 years payback, in fact the project paid back in 0.5 years
  • Enabled a focus from the Senior Directors in the organisation, a clear set of standard real time absence data, a clear process of managing absence
  • HR and Senior Execs now have, a consistent and accurate absence report that can focus on hotspot areas and really drill down into the reasons that absence is high

Benefits and Results:

  • Absence Governance Team formed, consisting of Senior Managers in the organisation, whose focus is to identify and tackle business trends in absence, by using Absence Manager
  • A National absence working group, consisting of Managers and Trade Union Representatives focussing on joint solutions to support the reduction of Short Term absence by using Absence Manager data available to the group
  • Localised Absence Forums tackling preventative measures for hot spot areas, working in conjunction with the Employee Health and Wellbeing Teams. All of these teams use the real time absence data from Absence Manager to gain insight into the issues to support the reduction of overall absence
Manufacturing testimonial
United Biscuits
Neil Smith
Head of HR for Supply Chain UK

“The business understands that significant change causes the workforce to feel uncertain and this can have a huge impact on our absence levels”.

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