Sickness levels fall in a third of organisations

More than one-third of employers saw an improvement in their organisation’s absence levels in 2005, IRS Employment Review research has revealed.

More than half of the respondents to the HR Prospects survey also anticipated a drop in absence over the next year. But just under a quarter said there had been a rise in absence levels in 2005.

Stress-related absence saw the greatest increase, with more than one-third of employers saying it had worsened over the year, and only 11.6% said it had improved.

Nearly one in five respondents said there was an increase in other common mental health-related absences in the past year. The majority (81%) of HR professionals surveyed said reducing short-term absence was the top priority for 2006-07.

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