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The Impact of Sickness Absence

The Office for National Statistics have recently released the full report for sickness absence in the Labour Market February 2014. The impact of sickness absence is far reaching. Not only in terms of lost manpower, the cost of replacing this manpower, but the overall effect it can have on the workforce, especially in a skilled trade or profession.

This report has highlighted a huge drop in days lost due to sickness absences for 2013 compared to 1993. 131 million days were lost due to sickness absences in the UK in 2013, down from 178 million days in 1993, with minor illnesses being the most common reason, but more days being lost to back, neck and muscle pain than any other cause.

Source: Labour Force Survey – Office for National Statistics

There are prominent patterns for sickness absences throughout the UK, with men consistently having lower absences than women.

The report shows absences increasing with age and sickness rates being highest for those working in the health sector.

The report also shows that larger workforces report higher sickness levels, whilst sickness absences levels are lowest for self-employed, Managers, directors and senior officials.

Despite the fairly consistent patterns for sickness absences throughout the UK, individuals patterns may vary, and in some cases individual employee behaviour related to sickness absences may give cause for suspicion.

For example if a particular employee consistently takes time off on the same day, or conflicting with certain events, this may raise suspicion of misconduct.

The impact of sickness absenteeism across the workforce is damaging. It can also lead to ineffective management. Finding the best solutions for supporting employees with genuine illness that should not be at work and tolerating medium and long-term repeat illness should not compromise the business environment. Discovering the truth of the circumstance, if a genuine reason is suspected needs to be dealt with in a delicate manner.

If any of your employees are giving you cause for concern taking regular sickness absences, we can help to provide peace of mind or get to the bottom of it with our company surveillance investigations.

Employee Absenteeism costs UK businesses billions of pounds every year, and can be a major cause for concern in businesses of any size. No employer wants to accuse an employee who is genuinely ill, but sometimes suspicions can be correct, and it is estimated that 12% of sick days taken in the UK are false.

Employee absenteeism impacts company profits and productivity, at Insight we can help find the root causes behind an employee’s actions in a legal and efficient process to determine the legitimacy of their absence. All evidence will be presented in a clear, concise report which will be entirely admissible for use in a court case or tribunal.

If you suspect one of your employee’s of dishonest activity, contact us today to discuss how we can help you by calling us on the number below.

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