VRA webinar: Encouraging managers to support return to work following sickness absence

DATE / TIME 20/02/2020
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm



Our free February webinar will be sharing the results from some interesting research.

Topic: Encouraging managers to support return to work following sickness absence

Speaker: Jo Yarker of Birbeck, University of London and Affinity Health at Work

Time: February 20, 2020 12:00 PM London

Login: Zoom Meeting ID: 156 665 621

Join us online at https://zoom.us/j/156665621 or dial in on 0203 481 5240

  • Please note that we are using a new platform for our webinars in 2020 so do allow an extra few minutes to log in case additional steps are needed. 
  • Please add the meeting to your calendar so you don’t forget to log in!

Managing absence is a challenge in terms of scale and cost. Unfortunately for many, a successful initial return does not necessarily mean a sustainable and long term return to work. Many returning employees find it difficult to articulate their needs and implement work adjustments to support their return while line managers often do not know what to do or say to help.

Line managers can play a vital role in supporting employees at this time. They are often the first contact point when the employee is unwell; are responsible for the day-to-day management of the employee; and are key to supporting access and effective implementation of work adjustments. Yet there is little advice and guidance available to help line managers navigate this process.

Our research aims to help managers and employees better navigate the absence journey. In this webinar, I will share learnings from three research projects:

  • the six step return to work toolkit, which has been developed to improve communication between returning employees and their managers;
  • the IGLOO framework which considers the resources required by employees – at the individual, group, leader and organisation level – for a successful, sustainable return; and
  • the line manager competencies required to support effective return to work.

Through equipping line managers with new knowledge, skills and resources we can help employees to better navigate the challenge of returning to work.

About our speaker

Jo Yarker is passionate about understanding what we can do to foster fulfilling, healthy and productive work, particularly under times of challenge such as when individuals are unwell or under pressure.

More recently, Jo has been working on a number of projects that aim to understand the impact of workplace design on our health and wellbeing.  Working with colleagues Rachel Lewis and Emma Donaldson-Feilder and a network of academics in leading UK Universities, her research has been sponsored by the HSE, CIPD, Mental Health Foundation, British Occupational Health Research Foundation and Cancer Research UK. This research has been translated into guides, toolkits and metrics that organisations can use to help organisations, managers, teams and individuals better manage their work. Her work has been published in academic and practitioner spaces.

Alongside her role at Affinity Health at Work, Jo also works at Birkbeck, University of London where she co-leads the Professional Doctorate programme in Organisational Psychology. As well as her lecturing, research and consultancy work, Jo holds voluntary roles with the British Psychological Society.