Staff sickness and absence from work are costing UK businesses £13 billion a year, with employees taking an average eight days’ sick leave per annum which according to the Department of Work and Pensions equates to a total of 175 million working days being lost every year.
It is a situation which is creating a huge dent on industry productivity and one which human resources managers across the country say is increasingly one of their main causes for concern.
In a recent survey by Youmanage, creators of a unique innovative online HR toolkit, 75 per cent of HR personnel said they believed line managers needed more support and guidance when managing levels of absence and sickness in their departments.
Youmanage commissioned the survey as part of a project to assess key HR challenges facing line managers, and to identify areas for improvement. The results confirmed their belief that if line managers had the necessary tools they would be able to monitor and deal with situations before they became a major issue.
Phil Brown, Managing Director of Youmanage, said the level of sickness and absence in the UK was significantly increasing and would continue to do so as it was not being dealt with in the right way.
He said: “It is an accepted fact that companies with a well managed and highly motivated workforce do not have these high levels of sickness.
“However there are many businesses who are suffering from increased numbers of lost days which in turn have an effect on productivity and ultimately the bottom line.
“The simple fact is that if the necessary processes are not in place for line managers to follow lost days through sickness and absenteeism can go unnoticed for a considerable period of time which can be hugely damaging to a business or a department.
“However we believe that if businesses are equipped with the right tools, which not only enable them to keep proper records, but will also proactively alert them to potential issues with individual employees and give them guidance on how to handle those issues, then they will be able to address the problem of sickness and absenteeism and keep it to a minimum, enabling the business to run more smoothly and efficiently.”
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