Yesterday we discussed the issue of dealing with non-genuine sickness absence but how do you manage actual sickness absence as a business? All of the same principles of recording and monitoring are useful to help you understand the sickness levels in your business. How do these stack up against national averages though?

Statistics earlier in 2012 by the Absence Management survey from the CIPD and Simply Health showed that the national average is 6.8 days sickness per year.

If your absence levels are higher it might be useful to explore why people take time off and what are the most common illnesses. Look at accident and injury data, consider whether workplace stress is having an impact on sickness levels and whether there are any environmental or management concerns that contribute to ill health. If none of these appear to be the problem consider if there is a culture of it being acceptable to take time off work for minor ailments. The challenge then of course is to decide how to tackle the relevant issues to improve work attendance. Give us a call if we can help you with this.

Any such action of course needs to be balanced with not encouraging presenteeism where people are fearful to take a day off sick and attend when they are too unwell to do so…and of course by coming to work spread germs causing wider spread illness.

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