Sickness absence costs employers £12bn

Employers’ failure to make an intelligent diagnosis of workplace sickness
absence is costing them £11.8bn a year and rising.

A conference held by Occupational Health’s sister journal Employers’Law in
December, found there were widespread concerns about the ability of UK
employers to manage sickness absence and worker incapacity.

More than 3,000 UK workers will move from long-term sickness absence on to
incapacity benefit each week, with less than 30 per cent ever working again,
said Stephen Bevan, deputy director of research at the Work Foundation.

UK employers spend up to 16 per cent of their wage bill each year on
managing sickness absence, with up to 70 per cent of the costs attributable to
long-term absence.

Mental and nervous illness and gastro-intestinal problems were the largest
growth areas.

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