Organisations fail to quantify staff absence costs

Calculating the cost of absence takes too much time according to a third of organisations questioned in a recent study, Maximising Attendance.

The study of 403 HR specialists by the Work Foundation finds that only 43 per cent of those surveyed bother to work out the actual cost of staff being away from work.

This is despite research that shows absence costs of between £500 and £600 per employee per year. If indirect costs are taken into account as well, the bill can be rise to as much as four times this amount.

The top five reasons stated for absence are colds/flu, stomach upsets, headaches,stress and back problems.

Reasons given for not calculating absence costs include not having a computerised personnel system (29 per cent) and a belief that absence is not a problem (23 per cent).

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