If short-term sickness evolves into longer-term absence, it’s important to keep lines of communication open. Maintaining regular contact with the employee will keep you informed of the employee’s progress and whether there is anything you can do to assist them back to work, for example, a phased return. If a return does not look likely in the near future, plans can be made to put in place temporary cover or to distribute the workload to others in the team.
However, while it’s important that the employee must not feel cut off by their manager, equally they should not feel harassed by frequent calls or visits. If someone has anxiety or stress, you don’t want your contact to make their condition worse, so make sure you think about the nature of the contact and its urgency.
Finally, if an employee’s mental health is being negatively affected by work, you need to explore with them how to prevent further absences. For example, assess their workload, provide training or mentoring, etc.