Search
Close this search box.

UK businesses record 30 percent increase in sick leave

New analysis of over 2,000 businesses has revealed that the average business has seen a sharp rise in sick leave – with 30% more days lost in the last year due to short and long-term sickness.

New analysis of over 2,000 businesses has revealed that the average business has seen a sharp rise in sick leave – with 30% more days lost in the last year due to short and long-term sickness.

The sick leave report*  revealed that the average business reported 133 days of sick leave in 2022 – up from 102 in 2021, 85 in 2020 and 92 in 2019.

Certain industries have experienced higher rates of sickness within staff – especially in hospitality and in the creative arts. Those working in accommodation and food services have seen sick days rise by 491% since 2019 – from an average of 19 per company, to 112.

And in the arts, entertainment and recreation industry, they’ve seen sickness rates rise 92% in the last three years following the pandemic, from an average of 20 per business per year, to 39.

The research suggests that those who are more customer-facing, and less office-based are likely to report the biggest growth in sickness absence, since they’re less likely to rely on the ability to work remotely.

The industries that saw the biggest spike in the last year:

1 – Accommodation and food service activities – 146%

2 – Water supply, sewerage and waste management – 135%

3 – Arts, entertainment and recreation – 66.7%

4 – Transportation and storage – 44.3%

5 – Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply – 34.6%

6 – Administrative and support service activities – 34.3%

7 – Wholesale and retail trade – 32%

8 – Construction – 32%

9 – NGO/Charity – 30%

10 – Information and Communication – 18%

The industries that saw the biggest spike in the last four years

1 – Accommodation and food service activities – 491%

2 – Water supply, sewerage and waste management – 271.4%

3 – Arts, entertainment and recreation – 92.2%

4 – Electricity, gas, steam and air conditioning supply – 91%

5 – Transportation and storage – 76.3%

6 – Human health and social work activities – 57%

7 – NGO/Charity – 56%

8 – Manufacturing – 48%

9 – Financial and insurance activities – 47%

10 – Administrative and support service activities – 44%

The only industry to experience a drop in sick leave in the last year was real estate, which saw absences fall by 3.8%

Charles Butterworth, managing director at Access People HRcommented on the research:

This report into the status of sick leave in the UK highlights the importance of businesses adopting a robust HR strategy as a first point of call when it comes to reducing sick leave. This could include having clear policies and procedures, offering tangible support to those that appear to be taking excessive sick days and implementing a HR system to provide better absence management. 

“This increase overall in the UK in sickness rates could be as a result of COVID-19, and people feeling that it’s more important to take time off for their health, with less industry-wide guilt attached to taking time off work and a nationwide effort to remove the stigma associated with the ‘badge of honour’ mentality.

“On the other hand, it may be that people are experiencing more burnout and long-term sickness following the pandemic, resulting in new highs of sickness rates. No matter what, it’s crucial that businesses act swiftly to identify the reasons for sick leave, and if they need to act.”

*conducted by Access People HR

 https://www.peoplehr.com/en-gb/resources/blog/sick-leave-report-how-are-different-industries-faring/

 

    Read more

    Latest News

    Read More

    Embracing neurodiversity in the future of hybrid work

    16 June 2024

    Newsletter

    Receive the latest HR news and strategic content

    Please note, as per the GDPR Legislation, we need to ensure you are ‘Opted In’ to receive updates from ‘theHRDIRECTOR’. We will NEVER sell, rent, share or give away your data to third parties. We only use it to send information about our products and updates within the HR space To see our Privacy Policy – click here

    Latest HR Jobs

    The Compliance and HR Administrator position involves assisting with the implementation of compliance programs and HR procedures, maintaining accurate records,… £22,000 – £24,000 a yearFrom

    London School of Economics and Political Science – Human Resources DivisionSalary: £29,935 to £33,104 per annum inclusive with potential to progress to £35,441 pa inclusive

    Durham University – HR & ODSalary: £23,144 to £24,533 per annum

    University of Cambridge – Case Management Team HR DivisionSalary: £40,521 to £54,395

    Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE

    Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE