Employers face North-South divide in absence rates

Staff absenteeism is more of a problem in the north of England than in London and the South, according to a survey.

Four in 10 employees in northern England believe absenteeism is a problem in their workplace, compared to just over a quarter (27%) of London workers, and one-third (31%) in the South Coast region.

But the survey of 3,000 UK employees by recruitment firm Robert Half Finance & Accounting showed that workers in the North were much less likely to take an illegitimate sick day than their London colleagues.

About 14% of Londoners admitted to taking a ‘sickie’ in the past year, compared with just 4% of northerners and 9% of Scots.

David Jones, managing director of Robert Half Finance & Accounting, said: “Absenteeism is a major problem in the UK and employers need to take serious steps to address it. 

“Not only should companies put in place longer-term policies to ensure that their staff are healthier and happier and so are less likely to take time off work, they must consider the negative impact absenteeism has on the rest of the workforce.”

Stress and a crisis in their personal life were the main reasons cited by respondents for taking a day off.

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