Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics establish a significant fall in the number of sick days employees are taking off work. The figures reveal that employees took off an average of only 4.1 days in 2017, compared to 7.1 back in 1993 (the year records began).
The available data shows that the sickness absence rate started slowly decreasing in 1999, and continued to fall following the 2008 credit-crunch. There will be a multitude of factors contributing to this. It is suggested that the overall decrease could be attributed to an increase in healthy life expectancy, but some suggest a contributing factor is due to a rise in what is called ‘presenteeism’ – when employees still come into work even though they are ill. Other factors may be that, generally, employers are becoming better skilled at managing sickness absence, and also that the squeeze on household budgets means workers simply cannot afford to be off sick, particularly in the private sector where, generally, sick pay schemes offer less cover.
If you wish to discuss sickness absence at work please contact our experienced employment team.