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A Comprehensive Guide to Attendance Management


Sickness and absence coding

It's crucial to find the correct SSTS absence code, duration of absence and record it.

All you need to know in 30 seconds

  • Sickness absence codes are useful for spotting sickness trends and creating benchmarking metrics from the SSTS system - but only if recorded and used correctly.
  • Follow the agreed process as set out in the SSTS ‘User Manual’ [StaffNet].
  • You are responsible for recording the sickness absence of your team so make sure this is done fully with the right SSTS code. It's crucial to find the SSTS absence code, duration of absence and record it.
  • Sickness absence codes are agreed nationally and are used to identify absence in the NHS.
  • Employees are required to inform their manager of reason for absence to ensure accurate recording of absence.
  • If you do not record the correct SSTS code this prevents analysis of reasons for absence within departments

All you need to know in detail

Sickness absence codes are a useful tool you can use to spot sickness trends in your team. Making sure these are used and recorded properly can help identify problem areas to target with interventions, such as infection prevention and teams under a lot of stress or other mental health issues. If correct codes are used, you can use them to create metrics and compare them to national sickness absence rates to see how your department is doing.

Once you have a benchmark for your department, you can make contacts with departments that have lower absence rates and look to improve your own. This could all result in lower sickness absence rates and employees who feel more supported and able to deliver better patient care.

The SSTS sickness codes are nationally agreed and should be used to identify the absence reasons for employee sickness. This can usually be done during and after the return to work meetings where you can get a good idea of the absence reason. In all cases you should try to use both SSTS codes to drill down to the most appropriate reason.

Last Updated: 07 May 2019