UK is ‘sickie central’ as absence rates rise

Workplace
absence rates have increased for the first time in five years, causing
companies to lose an extra 10 million working days per annum.

An
annual survey by the CBI and insurance company Axa found that employers believe
25 million days were lost last year through staff ‘pulling sickies’. That
accounts for 15 per cent of all absence at a cost of £1.75bn.

Staff
absence cost business £11.6bn last year in salary costs of absent workers and
resulting overtime and temporary cover. That translates as £475 per employee.

More
than three-quarters of the 500 companies polled reported a pattern of increased
employee absence on Fridays or Mondays.

National
absence rates now stand at 7.2 days per employee, with absence rates being
highest in the North West (10.1 days).

The
lowest absence rates are in Yorkshire & Humberside (6.3 days), Greater
London (6 days) and Scotland (5.6 days).

Manual
workers have significantly higher absence rates than non-manual workers – 8.7
days per employee in 2003, compared to 5.9 days per non-manual worker. The
service sector has witnessed an 8 per cent rise in absence.

Public
sector workers take an extra couple of days compared with those in the private
sector.

By
Roisin Woolnough

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