Absence at British Airways (BA) is costing the company almost £60m a year,
according to its chief executive, Rod Eddington.
In his column in the latest company newsletter, Eddington challenges staff
to tackle absenteeism, which is running at 16.7 days per employee – more than
twice the national average.
He said that with a current UK workforce of 37,500, that adds up to 626,250
lost days a year. When the cost of this is worked out, it comes in at £58.5m.
"These are dreadful statistics," he said. The company and unions
are now investigating the causes and a solution.
"Prolonged absence is not confined to any one department – we’re
looking at attendance right across the airline," he said.
"It doesn’t need a mathematics professor to tell you that if the average
is 16.7 days across BA, for some staff – and some departments – that figure
will be significantly higher."
Eddington also outlined his views on work. "If you are healthy and paid
to do a job, it is your duty to come in and do it."
A programme is underway at the airline to cut employee costs by £300m.