Cost of absence is mystery to employers

More than half of UK employers don’t know how much absence is costing them, and one in five don’t even know their annual absence rate.

Research by health provider FirstAssist found that six out of 10 HR professionals consider absence management the number one issue they face today, followed by retention, stress management, recruitment, and performance management.

Even though most also think it will remain the top issue for the next three years, 55% said that they do not know how much absence is costing their business, with a further 12.5% admitting their absence costs were too high.

Yet, more than a quarter did not monitor stress in their organisation, despite this being an increasing cause of absence.

Tim Ablett, chief executive of FirstAssist, warned that many HR professionals seemed to be working in the dark when it came to absence management.

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