09 Jun 2022

Sickness absence at a decade high




With a new report from XpertHR stating sickness absence rates are at their highest levels in a decade and four in ten employers believe they are too high, Adrian Lewis, Director at Activ People HR says to address this, companies must get a handle on their absence data.

Figures shows that sickness absence had risen from 3.1% in 2021, up from 2.2% in 2020 during the pandemic, with figures at 4.4% in the public sector.

This equates to an average employee being off sick for 7.3 days a year, costing a business £731 over the year.


Adrian Lewis comments, “It is not a great surprise absence rates are rising once more as we are coming out of the pandemic, we’re back in the office, socialising and taking holidays. However, companies need to take rising absences figures seriously because of the financial costs, the risks to productivity and the strain being understaffed can place on any business. In the current cost of living crisis, when many companies are desperate to reduce costs, it is an issue they can’t afford to ignore.”

The survey also showed that two thirds of companies struggle to get data on their absence rates and just 54 out of 149 organisations surveyed could provide data on the cost of absence.

Adrian Lewis says, “If companies fail to monitor and measure their absence data – they are opening themselves up to major risk. Firstly, monitoring and measuring absence data and sharing that information in the company has been shown to reduce absence rates.

Secondly, without meaningful data about why people are off sick, companies are in the dark about their issues. They won’t understand if absences are linked to long-term issues or mental health problems which means they will be unable to support staff in the right way to prevent issues escalating, placing a company at risk of staff being off sick for long periods as well as costly health insurance claims.”

“Using simple absence management technology, companies are able to monitor all their absences in one place. They will be able to put their absences in context, keep on top of any trends and importantly, count the cost of absence. They can also use such a system to manage annual leave and hybrid working all in one place, cutting out administration for HR and ensuring a business is run seamlessly.”

Activ People HR offers cloud-based HR solutions, including Activ Appraisals to help businesses manage the appraisal process and Activ Absence for managing all absences including sick leave.

For more information on Activ People HR visit: www.activpeoplehr.co.uk.