When we think of absence, we think of employees calling us and giving a reason as to why they won’t be working for the day or for a specific duration. There is no doubt their welfare is extremely important, but what does this mean to the business?
A day’s absence here and there surely can’t affect a business too much can it?
Maybe not in the short term, however, over a year whereby employees have had a number of days absent it can have a huge impact, not only on your figures but also on other members of staff.
The average number of days sick per employee in 2018 was 5.9 days (CIPD Health & Wellbeing Report). That is more than a whole week (for a full-time employee) per year which is a huge loss of productivity. The prediction is that by 2020 the cost of absence will increase to £21 billion. Now those are some serious numbers!
But what is causing the rise?
The major contributor to this increase is mental health issues which have increased by 71.9% since 2011. This is because of increasing financial pressures and the work/home balancing act that we all have become accustomed to.
Another factor contributing to such a high figure is the younger generations needing to move quickly up the ladder, wanting more flexibility and pay. We may see those in high paid jobs very quickly moving on to the next big role within a year, in an attempt to keep up with the financial pressures; which makes you question the commitment within their role in your business.
Of course, on the other side of this, we have those employees who choose to come into work even when unwell. However, the thing to consider is, are they really “present” whilst they are unwell at work?
The area of absence itself is huge and as well as all the other things you have to focus on in your day, I am sure it’s one of the many drops in your business ocean. However, having an understanding of the causes of absence within your business and the potential pressure points in employee’s roles can put you in good stead to begin tackling it.
My main piece of advice would be to take absence seriously. Then make time for your employees to understand potential issues before absence strikes, and remember that presenteeism is just as important when ensuring duty of care as an employer.
We have other blog posts on our site that may relevant:
Health and wellbeing at work - CIPD improving mental health in the workplace https://www.vanillarecruitment.co.uk/blog/2018/05/health-and-wellbeing-at-work-cipd-improving-mental-health-in-the-workplace