The aim to reduce employee sick leave, what you should know

Created by Marcus Moloko using AI

A leading internet service provider, partnered with Guardian Eye to implement the AVA solution, aiming to reduce employee sick leave by providing accessible and affordable on-site telemedicine consultations.

This innovative approach, featuring real-time healthcare services and digital health records, significantly improved employee attendance and reduced the sick leave burden.

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Vox, a leading internet service provider, wanted to reduce the number of employees taking extended sick leave through the use of the ground-breaking AVA solution developed by Guardian Eye. The goal was to ensure employees felt supported with accessible medical care while minimizing absenteeism.

“In 2023, we had around 22% sick leave days taken by employees and we wanted to find a way of reducing that number without compromising on employee health,” said Jacques Du Toit, CEO at Vox.

Jacques Du Toit, Vox’s CEO

“We approached Guardian Eye as we felt their AVA solution would be the right fit for our business and what we wanted to achieve.”

The Guardian Eye team used the Bradford Factor calculator, also known as the Bradford Formula, to ascertain how many unplanned absences were being taken in the business and give them a clear weighting that indicates the company’s overall absenteeism. The results then allowed the team to create a clear picture of the business and how many people were taking unplanned leave, the volumes of sick leave, and overall sick leave behaviors.

It allowed Vox to identify which people were working despite being unwell as they couldn’t afford the time out to see the doctor and those who were gaming the system.

The team then agreed to trial the AVA solution for a period of six months to see how well it worked within the business and if it delivered the right results. The goal was to provide a service that any employee could access, regardless of healthcare plan or role.

“Some employees only have a basic healthcare package so having to pay to see a doctor while missing time at work can really affect their quality of life and stress levels,” says Du Toit.

“Our implementation of AVA has allowed for this group to access on-demand healthcare with a physician without the cost or time factor. AVA is hugely beneficial across all employees who want cost-effective access to a doctor – R50 as opposed to R500-R700 – so they can either go home and recover or have reassurance that they are well enough to work.”

The solution has had an impressive impact on the Vox employee absenteeism numbers, as well as on staff morale.

Du Toit said: “When we initially implemented the solution, we were concerned that employees would feel we were micro-managing them but it turned out the opposite was true. Employees felt that we were helping them, giving them cost-effective access to healthcare so they could make more informed decisions about their leave and wellbeing.”

Another surprise was the number of people asking when the solution would be reinstated after the trial period had expired.

The solution not only saw traction with employees, but it also significantly reduced absenteeism. When Jacques worked through the numbers, for the six-month period when AVA was in use, the company only logged 1,200 days of sick leave, down from the expected 2, 300 days within that period of time.

“While these numbers are not precise, we would need to compare these over a longer period of time, there is a very clear downward trend,” concludes Du Toit.

“This is so beneficial to the business and other employees. Both sides are saving time and money while reducing the impact of excessive absenteeism.”

Also read: How AI will reshape international arbitration practice

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