Sickness Absence Management
Is sickness absence costing your business?
Each week one million UK workers take time off because of sickness. Whilst most return to work within days; around 17 000 people reach their sixth week of statutory sick pay; and at this point, almost one in five people will stay off sick and eventually leave work.
According to ACAS, the average worker in the UK is absent from work for 8.4 days a year. This figure varies from one workplace to another but it adds up to an annual cost of £598 per employee. The cost to the UK economy is £10-12 billion annually.
However, the real cost of absenteeism to a business is even greater when you consider the problems associated with:
– Hiring, and paying for, temporary replacement staff
– Missed deadlines (e.g. customer orders) due to a lack of trained, experienced employees
– Lower customer satisfaction levels – have you heard an employee apologise for poor service by saying ‘the person who usually does this is off sick’
– Lower morale among colleagues expected to take on extra responsibilities
– Diminished reputation with customers and potential employees, and even lost business
How we can help:
Our Occupational Health practitioners are highly experienced in working with employers to give tailored assistance and support regarding the effective management of sickness absence.
The longer someone is off work, the harder it becomes for them to return, particularly if they are left on their own to overcome barriers to return. Early intervention is essential and the knowledge and experience our Occupational Health team have is valuable in helping employers to take a wider look at the problem and plan solutions that will assist workers to return before long-term sickness absence leads to job loss. We can also help sick workers with steps they can take themselves to make their return easier. Practical interventions like adjustments to tasks or working hours can make all the difference when the necessary action is identified at an early stage.
We can assist management by, for example:-
- Assessing a person’s fitness to work;
- Advising on suitable rehabilitation programmes; and
- Giving advice relating to the Disability Discrimination Act where appropriate;
An Occupational Health referral may be indicated in the following circumstances:-
- Where an employee is experiencing frequent, short term absences or a single long term illness;
- Where an employee’s health is affecting their work performance, or where there is a possible work related ill health;
- If an employee has a behavioural issue which is affecting their performance or a disability that impacts on their ability to do their job.
If you would like to discuss how sickness absence is affecting your business, please contact Katie Eastwell on 0844 481 0093