Workplace sickness absence rates improve

Two fifths of employers have seen improvements in their sickness absence rates over the last 12 months, according to research by Group Risk Development (GRiD).

The trade body for the group risk industry surveyed more than 500 businesses and found a notable drop in sickness absence rates among many firms. 40% of businesses reported an improvement over the last year, compared to the 34% that said the same in 2014.

Just 15% said that their sickness rates had gotten worse during the past year.

Employers attributed the improving attendance rates to 3 key factors:

  • 62% said that good morale had driven the fall in absence rates
  • 21% thought that health and wellbeing measures had helped staff to remain at work
  • 36% said that staff anxiety about their job security was a key reason.

With sickness absence costing UK businesses an estimated £29 billion each year, many have taken proactive measures to reduce staff absence. 30% are using return-to-work interviews and 78% monitor and record absences.

Katherine Moxham, spokesperson for GRiD, said:

"It's really encouraging to see that businesses have various strategies in place to prevent and manage absence, and the fact that this has dropped could be down to the benefits of these initiatives filtering through the business."

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