In partnership with Bupa

Research shows that employees are more likely to return to work safely and productively following long-term sickness absence if they are well supported during their absence and on their return.

The key considerations for managing an effective return, including for those suffering from long COVID, are outlined in these guides.

Everyone has a role to play in the return-to-work journey:

  • returning individuals need to prioritise self-care and self-management to sustain their health and work;
  • colleagues can provide valuable practical and emotional support; 
  • line managers can help returning employees access the work adjustments and support that they need to work effectively; 
  • people professionals can ensure organisations have compassionate and flexible absence management policies, and rehabilitation approaches to accommodate individual needs. 
These guides aim to offer advice and guidance to people professionals and line managers to perform these roles to ensure employees can make an effective and sustained return to work.

Guide for people professionals

This guide is designed as a useful professional resource for people professionals.

Download the guide

Line manager guide

This accompanying guide for line managers details how managers can support their team to effectively and sustainably return to work after long term absence.

Download the line manager guide

Bupa Global & UK is one of the UK’s leading healthcare specialists, providing health insurance and operating dental practices, care homes, health clinics and London’s Cromwell Hospital.

Bupa Health Clinics has 45 centres across the UK offering customers health assessments, GP appointments and women’s health services. They also offer a wide range of remote appointments.

They also support companies to keep their employees well and in work, offering services such as employee assistance programmes, mental health onsite support and most recently, introducing COVID-19 support services.

Managers play a vital role in determining the health, wellbeing and engagement of their team. Research (funded by the CIPD and led by Affinity Health at Work) identified five key behavioural areas for line managers to support the health, wellbeing and engagement of those who work for them:

  • Being open, fair and consistent 
  • Handling conflict and people management issues
  • Providing knowledge, clarity and guidance 
  • Building and sustaining relationships
  • Supporting development
Based on these key behavioural areas the CIPD has created a range of support materials to help you adopt a management approach that supports good health, wellbeing and engagement in your team by helping you explore and develop your management capability. Designed for anyone who manages people, the guidance and exercises are quick and easy to use. They can help you save time and get better results by managing people well – all of which is good for your own wellbeing as well as that of your team.

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