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Sickness tide rising again
A recent survey by the CIPD and Simplyhealth has found that after a small decrease in sickness absence last year, average levels are back up to 7.6 days per employee. This is similar to levels recorded in 2010 and 2011.

The survey found that the public service sector recorded the highest absence levels, with employees off sick for an average of 8.7 days. This is a rise on last year’s 7.9 days, which had previously represented the lowest levels of recorded absence in the sector for a decade.

Unsurprisingly, stress and musculoskeletal injuries continue to top the list of causes of absence and, despite nearly 40 per cent of employers increasing their focus on stress management over the past 12 months, stress-related absence has seen a steady rise over the last year for the UK’s workforce.

The survey revealed that employees taking the least amount of time off sick came from the manufacturing and production sector, with only six days a year per employee. However, despite the increase, it appears that employers have been actively managing the rate of absence, with 85 per cent of the survey’s 618 employers reporting to have adjusted working patterns this year (20 per cent more than in 2012.)

The reported changes include adapting working hours from the traditional nine to five, and comprehensive training for line managers on tackling absence and conducting effective return-to-work interviews. So if you are finding that your organisation’s sickness levels are rising again, it is worthwhile exploring why this might be and what changes you might consider to tackle the problem. If you want help in addressing your own organisation’s sickness absence levels, please get in touch to see how we can help.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016


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