Do you Know How Much Employee Absence Costs your Business?

September 5, 2014

Do you know how much employee ...A recent survey of 2,000 employees, showed that as many as a quarter of workers throw a ‘sickie’ on their first day back from holiday. A survey completed by Bupa showed that ‘nearly two-thirds of workers (61 per cent) dreaded returning to work after their summer vacation’. See this report. So welcome back to work after the summer holiday season!

The ever present topic of employee absence hits the headlines regularly and is clearly a constant problem. In today’s fast paced environment, businesses have to respond to absenteeism swiftly to remove extra pressure placed on colleagues by absent employees, overtime costs and considering the affects on productivity.

Do you really know how much employee absence is costing your business?

It seems that a lot of businesses have no idea of what absences are costing them. How are absence figures and absence patterns communicated to your managers? The way to start to tackle the problem has to be with the facts and figures. It is estimated that workforce absence costs employers a sickening (pardon the pun) £595 per employee every year; see this article. Absence costs the UK economy £17 billion a year with employees falling behind schedule, damage to the services provided and consequential effect on the organisation’s reputation.

So how can you manage your employee absence better?

  • Keep a record for each employee and check for absence patterns. Is there a regular Monday/Friday/day-after-holiday theme occurring?
  • Monitor your absence levels then you can see how much absence is costing you.
  • Make sure your policy for managing sickness absence and unauthorised absence is clear, up-to-date and communicated to all of your employees.
  • Implement a ‘return to work interview policy’ for all staff on their return from any sickness absence.

It is shocking to see the figures and the effect that absence is having on businesses. Why not refresh yourself with the detail and have a look the PA07 Sickness Absence Policy and Procedure, if you don’t it could leave you feeling under the weather and in need of another holiday yourself!

Anita Manfredi of Employer Solutions – QCS Human Resource Expert.

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