Sickies are worse for business than stress

Workers taking ‘sickies’ place a greater burden on organisations than stress-related absence, a poll by an HR website has reported.

The survey of 207 HR professionals by HR Gateway found 51 per cent felt unscheduled absence cost their organisation the most in terms of people management.

This compared with 42 per cent who cited stress-related absence as the most expensive cost.

Major injuries were highlighted by 5 per cent, and minor injuries by just 2 per cent of those polled.

Employers are becoming increasingly concerned about the rise of the ‘sickie’, its effect on morale and productivity and the best way tackle it.

This year’s Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) workplace absence survey suggested that half of HR professionals felt up 20 per cent of absence was not genuine.

Similarly, figures from employment law firm Peninsula have argued that 81 per cent of employees have at some time or other taken time off in this way.

But CIPD adviser Ben Wilmott warned that while employers needed to take the issue of non-genuine absence seriously, a heavy-handed approach could backfire, because the vast majority of employees were generally honest about taking time off.

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