13 JUL 2015
The cost of sickness absence
'The annual cost of sickness absence had climbed to almost £29 billion for UK organisations, according to new figures from PwC.'
'British workers take more than four times as many sick days off work than some of their global counterparts, the analysis by the professional's services firm showed.'
At an average of 9.1 days per year, UK workers reported double the amount of sickness absence as US staff (4.9 days) and quadruple that of workers in the Asia Pacific region (2.2 days). The average for Western Europe was 7.3 days.
Recent research by PwC research showed that in UK companies, illness and its associated costs accounted for around 90 per cent (£28.8 billion) of the total absence bill (£31.1 billion). Other unexpected absences such as compassionate leave and industrial action made up the remainder. These figures compared to a sickness absence cost of £27.8 billion in 2011, out of an overall absenteeism bill of £32.1 billion.
Failing to understand the nature and length of an illness can lead to a failure to plan absence cover or manage a disability.
Managing or Reducing Absences
Carrying out return to work meetings (RWM) is an essential aspect of managing absence. The properly conducted RWM is proven to be a cost effective management tool to reduce both the number of episodes and the length of time taken off sick. However, managers often feel nervous about getting information from employees, particularly if it involves embarrassing or distressing issues. In those situations the interview could become counterproductive.
A poorly conducted RWM can raise a multitude of issues for the employer, all of which can have a serious impact on the smooth running of the organisation. A failure to understand the nature and length of an illness can lead to a failure to plan absence cover or manage a disability.
These are very real everyday issues for which there are no hard and fast rules, but with the right approach, the situation can be handled in a sympathetic manner and provide practical, cost effective solutions for you.
The Solution - HR Medical Specialists
By managing your sickness in partnership with a HR Medical Specialist you can finally take control of your sickness management in the secure knowledge that the process is being managed in an appropriate and cost effective manner. Our HR Medical Specialists can help you ensure that you have:
Our HR Medical Specialists are all HR Consultants with a medical background and specialist knowledge in physiotherapy, mental health, occupational health or social work.
- accurate records of absenteeism
- contact with your employee maintained
- cost effective workplace adjustments investigated and even implemented
- alternative cost effective solutions or treatments sought for to achieve an earlier return to work
- return to work plans devised, agreed, implemented and reviewed
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