According to research carried out by PwC sick days are costing UK businesses nearly £29 billion a year, as UK workers take the most sick days in the world, despite falling figures.
Cascade reported on this in July; absenteeism is always a hot topic in the HR industry and is an issue which clearly needs addressing.
Employees’ ill health has been identified as the most common cause of absence, in addition to other reasons such as compassionate leave and industrial action. Findings revealed by the CBI as part of separate research, highlighted that a fifth of organisations also believe staff occasionally take non-genuine ‘sickies’ as an occasional perk of the job.
The causes of absence may vary and sometimes these absences cannot be avoided, but one thing remains the same throughout – absences are costly. Of course there is the physical cost of securing cover for the absent member of staff, or swallowing reduced production or service levels when a team is not at full strength. But other effects can also be seen in organisations with absence problems, and all are detrimental to business growth.
The longer absence problems remain unaddressed, the greater the impact on the morale and wellbeing of employees that remain present in the workplace. It is also likely that underlying employment issues will remain unacknowledged, meaning the absence scenario may only get worse. Perhaps more flexible working patterns would alleviate some of the pressures being placed on staff. Maybe managers are overlooking a crucial problem within the team. Could it be possible that a culture has developed where absences are the norm? Does your company even realise it is suffering from unacceptable absence levels?
Developing an effective absence management strategy is by no means a straightforward task, and there is not a ‘one size fits all’ approach to turning things around. However technology exists to support organisations in their quest to address this problem, and with quality suppliers comes years of experience and extensive advice…… Read more from our previous article “The Cost of Absence” here.