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Absenteeism getting worse

Adrian Lewis

Recent research from Legal and General[i] highlighted that 68 per cent of UK employers claimed that absenteeism is a growing cost issue for their business. Adrian Lewis, Director, Activ Absence.

Over half of employers (54 percent) surveyed said the biggest threat to their business would be an increase in long-term absence levels and 43 percent are worried about the cost of covering the work of absent employees. Adrian Lewis, Director at Activ Absence said, “Absenteeism costs UK businesses in the region of UK £120,000 a year on average, but there are ways companies can immediately reduce costs. One simple way to do this is to start tracking and monitoring staff absence rates in a system that is transparent. Many companies aren’t really aware of the extent of their problems until they do this.”

“Companies often approach us initially because they want a staff holiday planner. They tell us they ‘don’t have a problem with absence’. Only when they start to measure absence, they realise they do – it just wasn’t being measured before. Putting in a place a system to monitor employee absence will enable HR professionals to identify sickness patterns, including those who may be tacking regular sickies or those with recurring medical conditions or mental health issues and ensure they are given the right support.

They can help them access group risk benefits, such as employee assistance programmes, and help them on the road to recovery more quickly. Clearly this is better for the business and better for employees, who are less likely to take prolonged sickness absence. Adrian concludes; “The system is also useful support for line managers who work closely with employees. While line managers are unlikely to contact HR until there is a major problem; having real time absence management reports gives them more visibility of absence levels in their team and the ability to nip issues in the bud.”


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