Employee sick days bad for our business’ health – affecting productivity, profit and morale

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Identeco HR

Whilst the Office of National Statistics (ONS) is yet to release 2019 employment absence data, experts believe that days taken through sickness account to 6.9 per employee on average, costing organisations more than £550 per year, per employee, with predictions that this figure could rise to £21 billion in 2020.

It’s not a surprise that unplanned absence from employment has a detrimental effect on the workplace, with reduced productivity, wasted manpower and low morale for those picking up a work colleague’s to-do list.

The four most common reasons for absence were minor illnesses such as coughs and colds (25%), musculoskeletal problems (back, neck and upper body pain) 20%, accidents and mental health conditions came in at 12%.

The tally of sick days was 50% higher in the public sector than the private where sick pay provision may not be as generous. 2017 was the lowest figure since records began of sick days.

HR experts advise tracking employee absence and making efforts to explore what might be at the root cause. Recurring sick leave could be an indicator of an employee’s unhappiness in their job or perhaps issues outside of the workplace that may have an effect on their work/ life balance. Tracking sickness will help a business to identify weak points and put contingency plans in place.

Best practice is that a company should record all absences and the reason for it. Return to work interviews are helpful in order to understand the reasons why an employee has taken time off sick. It is important to remember that all this data is sensitive personal data and should be treated with confidence and in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

To understand how you can streamline your absence management process as well as all your other HR tasks, visit www.identecoHR.co.uk or call 01778 382 707 for a free demo

E: enquiries@identecoHR.co.uk