How to Reduce Supply Teacher Sickness This Winter

Supply teacher

January is a key month for supply teaching agencies, when supply teacher registrations and demand are riding high, according to statistics gathered by CharlieHR, a software firm who looked at data from 706 organisations, it’s also when sickness absence is at its highest. In fact, workers take 53% more sick days in January than they do in any other month. So, how can you maximise your supply teachers’ availability during this important time? 

Why are supply teachers more likely to be off sick during the winter? 

The accepted scientific wisdom is that the seasonal increase in sickness is not directly caused by the cold weather. Rather, it’s an increased risk of infection by various viruses caused by more time spent indoors, breathing the same air as other people, and dryness in the mouth and nose caused by central heating. None of this gets us any closer to stopping it happening, though, and the fact remains that your supply teachers are more likely to have time off sick in those cold winter months. In addition to an increased chance of getting sick, the NHS services they need to help them recover will be busier, which means it could take longer to get medical attention, which could result in their illness becoming more serious, or lasting longer. 

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Orange Genie Edge’s Personal Doctor Service

Our Personal Doctor service gives your supply teachers free on-demand access to a GP, by phone at any time, and by webcam during office hours. There is no cost to you, or your teacher, there are no usage limits, and in most cases the teacher can speak to a doctor within a few minutes. Because they can get medical attention almost immediately, your teachers won’t have to wait and they can be back at work and feeling better as quickly as possible. 

Appointments take less time

One of the less obvious advantages of Personal Doctor, is that appointments take less time to complete. Rather than accepting whatever time their GP can fit them in, travelling to the surgery and waiting in a room full of sick people until the overworked doctor can see them, your supply teachers only need to find time for a short phone call, which can be arranged for a time that suits them. Assuming they’re well enough to work, they may not need any time off at all.

Prescription delivery service

If the doctor believes that your teacher will benefit from prescription medication, it can be delivered the next day, anywhere in the UK. Again, the service eliminates any delay in your supply teachers receiving the care they need, getting them back to work and at the top of their game as soon as possible. 

Other Orange Genie Edge services

Fast access to healthcare is an important part of safeguarding your supply teachers’ health and wellbeing, which will result in fewer days off due to sickness. However, it isn’t the only important aspect, and that’s why this service is one of several included in Orange Genie Edge designed improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of your supply teachers. 

Support and Counselling

Mental health is as important as physical health, and with Orange Genie Edge, your supply teachers have free, unlimited access to trained counsellors at any time of the day or night, as well as online mental-health resources and advice. 

Lifestyle tools

Our Health and Fitness and wellbeing services give your supply teachers free, practical tools to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle, including a comprehensive health risk-assessment, discounts on gym membership, hundreds of healthy recipes, exercise videos and reliable, cutting edge health and fitness information. Healthy, engaged supply teachers work for longer, are available more often, do a better job for your clients in schools, create less work for agency staff and are more likely to recommend you to colleagues and friends. 

Supply teachers value these services

For many supply teachers, these free services sit in the “above and beyond” category, because they are not something an employer is expected to provide. At the same time, they solve genuine problems that affect thousands of people in the UK, and they make a real difference to our teacher employees. Perhaps more importantly, they demonstrate that your teachers are valued, that both you and Orange Genie care about their health and wellbeing, and that we think the quality of their experience as supply teachers is important. This makes them feel good about being employed by us and about working for you. 

If you have questions, or if we can help in any way, please call our expert team on 01296 468 483 or email 


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