Redundancy fears curb staff absence

The
economic downturn has contributed to a 10 per cent drop in absence levels as
employees increasingly fear the threat of redundancy.

Employee
Absence 2003, a survey of more than 1,300 HR practitioners by the Chartered
Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), shows a fall from an average of
10 to nine days per person.

Mike
Emmott, the CIPD’s head of employee relations said: "The biggest single
influence on absence levels is management action. However, where employees feel
more insecure, this can also have an effect."

Stress
is still the most common cause of long-term sickness absence among non-manual
workers and is alarmingly high in the public sector, with almost 60 per cent of
organisations citing it as the main cause.

Less
than 30 per cent of private sector organisations regard stress as the major
cause of long-term absenteeism.

The
survey shows that three-quarters of organisations believe minor illnesses, such
as colds and flu, are the most common causes of absence, compared with just over
half last year.

The
research also shows that 38 per cent of NHS workers and 30 per cent of local
government workers find their work either ‘stressful’ or ‘very stressful’
against an average of 25 per cent for all workers.

www.cipd.org.uk

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