Workplace absence levels in steady decline

There has been a gradual but steady decline in absence levels over the past five years, falling from an average 4% of working time lost in 2006 to 2.8% in 2010.

This is according to the 2011 XpertHR survey on staff absence rates and costs, which also found that the average cost of absence in the UK in 2010 was £553 per employee.

Rachel Suff, XpertHR author of the report commented: “These figures show a small but significant drop in absence rates across the economy. This should be heartening news to the government-appointed body that has just been set up to undertake a major review of the sickness absence system in Britain.

Absence chart

Absence was found to be higher in the public sector than in the private sector, with an average of 3.5% and 2.4% of working time lost in 2010 respectively.

The survey also found regional variations in absence rates, with London and the South-East reporting the lowest rates.

The full findings of the survey are available on XpertHR.

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