5 Employee Absence Facts

5 employee absence facts infographic

1. Sickness absence costs British employers £9 billion a year

Sickness absence costs British employers £9 billion a year. According to the Health and Safety Executive, this amount is equivalent to over £3,500 per worker per year. 

These figures only include the financial cost of sickness absence from employment. Unpaid sick leave does not show up in this figure, but it still represents a significant loss of productivity for businesses across the country.

Sickness absence can be very costly for your business. It can cause loss of productivity, increase in your expenses and reduce the company’s profitability. 

Here are some of the best ways to reduce absence in your business:

  • Reduce sickness absence by improving employee health and wellbeing
  • Develop a workplace that is free from all types of discrimination, harassment and bullying
  • Increase the morale of your employees through effective communication between managers and staff
  • Encourage an environment where staff feel valued, safe to express their opinions, able to make decisions on their own terms and encouraged to take ownership

2. Workers missing 4 billion a year in lost earnings

It’s not just businesses that suffer when absence is high.

Employees can expect to lose £4 billion a year in lost earnings due to absence, research has found.

Almost half of the UK workforce (48%) spend an average of four days or more each year away from work due to illness or injury, and only around one in five have access to paid sick leave.

There is a way however for workers to It’s not just businesses that suffer when absence is high. Employees can expect to lose £4 billion a year in lost earnings due to absence, research has found. Almost half of the UK workforce (48%) spend an average of four days or more each year away from work due to illness or injury, and only around one in five have access to paid sick leave. There is a way however for workers to claim back any unfair loss of earnings. Meaning your business could still be liable. claim back any unfair loss of earnings. Meaning your business could still be liable.

3. Productivity is at a loss too.

Workplace sick days are a costly and inconvenient fact of life for everyone.

In fact, sickness-related absences and presenteeism cost the UK economy £77.5 billion a year in lost productivity.

This means that absence is costing the average UK worker an annual loss of £800 to their employer.

This has a knock-on effect on the economy, consumers and the full workforce too.

But it’s not just absence. When we think of presenteeism, we usually picture people coming to work while sick. But this method of 100% attendance with 50% work can also negatively affect businesses by lowering productivity.

4. Take care of your employee’s mental health

Workplace absence due to mental health conditions is becoming a major issue for employers, costing the economy billions every year.

After all, mental health conditions now account for 11.6% of employee absences.

“Mental health conditions” include stress, depression, anxiety and serious mental health problems.

However, employers are increasingly adopting innovative solutions to address this challenge and improve their employees’ wellbeing.

Here’s a look at some tools that can help improve workplace mental health issues.

5. Male and Female Absences may differ

Sickness absence rates have fallen for both sexes and have been consistently lower for men than women.

Women lost 2.3% of their working hours in 2020 as a result of sickness or injury, in comparison with 1.5% for men.

Over the decade the sickness absence rate for women has been falling at a faster rate than men, 0.5 percentage points compared with 0.3 percentage points for men.

We can help

Employee Attendance Cloud is designed to help you minimise absence and the productive issues that surround it.

To find out more and to book a demo, click here