Sickness absence in the manufacturing sector has fallen below an average of seven days per worker per year, research has revealed.
A survey covering more than 120,000 workers by employers’ group the EEF found that an average of 6.7 days per employee were lost to sickness last year – down from 7.1 in 2005.
EEF chief medical adviser Dr Sayeed Khan said: “Those manufacturers who invest in training their staff are continuing to reap the benefits of a proactive approach to absence management.
“However, there remains considerable room for improvement to reach the number of companies who still see such training as a cost.”
Four in 10 employees had no sick absence during 2006, a small improvement on the previous year’s figure.
Manual employees again showed a higher absence rate than non-manual employees, with an average of 3.8% time lost compared to 1.9%.
Just over a fifth of companies reported seeing an increase in short-term sickness absence, compared with more than a third seeing an increase in long-term sickness absence.
The South East of England and Greater London showed the lowest absence rate, with just 2.6% of working days lost to sickness absence.