Sickness Absence Reaches Record Lows

Research shows that sickness absence is at a record low for manufacturing employers, according to industry body EEF.

The survey took into account data from 330 firms over the last two years, which showed absence levels reaching just 2.1% overall – the equivalent of 4.9 days per employee every year.

However, while short-term sickness absences have dropped, days off for long-term illnesses have risen, and employers have also reported a rise in employees suffering from mental health problems. Two in five of the companies surveyed by the EEF said long term absence has increased during the last 24 months.

Mental ill health, musculoskeletal disorders and illnesses leading to surgery were the greatest cause of long-term absence from work in the last two years.

“Driving down absence rates, helping more employees return to work earlier and encouraging their well-being is critical for our economy. But, despite employers increasing investment in managing sickness absence and, providing their employees with more health related benefits, the improvement in overall absence rates has more or less now plateaued,” said professor Sayeed Khan, chief medical adviser at EEF.

The effects of employee absence

When workers take days off sick it affects a business’ profitability, morale and success so it is imperative organisations look for ways to improve the overall health of employees and manage absences pro-actively and effectively.

Staff absences put a strain on other members of the team and cause output to decrease. They also have the potential to cause a dip in morale. This is why businesses need to consider plans to ensure business can continue when employees are absent, as well as ways to improve team members’ overall well-being to reduce unnecessary sickness absence and speed the return to work.

According to the survey, just 46 percent of employers in the manufacturing sector pay for medical interventions. The numbers of employers offering occupational health services are more positive however; 68 percent of those surveyed offered this service as a benefit for all staff.

If you are seeking a way to reduce sickness absence in the workplace, OHBM can help you put the necessary procedures in place. Speak to our helpful and friendly team about your business today.