Work absence falls but costs on the rise

Workplace
absence has fallen to its lowest level since records began in 1987, finds a CBI
survey.

The
CBI Absence Survey questioned 668 firms on their absence and labour turnover
for 2001. It found the number of working days lost fell by 16 million, from 192
million in 2000 to 176 million in 2001.

Average
absence levels in 2001 were also 25 per cent lower than those recorded 10 years
ago. Since 1991, average absence has fallen by two days per employee.

But
this is not reflected in financial cost. The survey found the average cost of
absence per employee rose to its highest level for five years.

Projected
across the whole workforce, the total cost of absence to British business
increased from £10.7bn in 2000 to £11.8bn in 2001.

The
public sector was found to be particularly prone. While it employs 27 per cent
of the workforce, it accounted for 32 per cent of the total cost of absence.  www.cbi.org.uk

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