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Long Term Sickness Report: The UK & Long Term Absences

Absence Management News

New report from Howden and EFF reveals glaring Absence Management data recording oversights by large number of UK manufacturing firms

Insurance Broker Howden, and the EFF (the trade body for the manufacturing industry), have partnered to produce a new report examining trends and issues relating to employee health.

The report, called ‘Health and Work’, contains results from 165 manufacturers across the UK and highlights several key findings. Perhaps the most worrying is that one third of companies surveyed are not monitoring the amount of long term sickness absence taken by their staff.

Long-term sickness is considered to be an absence extending over 20 days. Of the other organisations polled, half reported instances of staff taking long-term sickness leave, whilst the remaining one in six reported none.


This kind of absence data is crucial, since without it, it will prove difficult for organisations to offer any kind of rehabilitation to staff as they return to work, and to put measures in place to prevent repeat occurrences.


The report goes on to show that larger companies with over 250 employees have more instances of long-term sickness absence (at 8% compared to an average of 3.5%) than those with fewer staff. The most common cited cause of long term sickness leave is recovery from surgery and/or awaiting medical investigations.


Bodet Absence Management News


Another concerning issue relates to visibility of work-related ill health, with around 40% of companies admitting that they do not know the level of absence where this is the cause. This suggests that these companies are not, in fact, recording the cause of sickness absence at all. Not only is this bad general practice (we’ve already spoken about how this could affect your group risk scheme), but it strongly hints that wellbeing is not being considered in these workplaces. This could be a major oversight, since improving staff wellbeing can lead to increased productivity, cost savings and boosted employee engagement.


Bodet’s Absence Management Solution allows you to monitor absences, easily record data such as reason for absence, receive alerts for unexpected absences and create detailed absence reports. It also monitors KPIs such as the Bradford Factor. This provides the ability to identify absence patterns linked to causes such as stress, and support staff before long-term absence occurs. This practice can form an important part of your wellbeing strategy.


If you would like a free on-site demonstration to see how our Absence Management and Time & Attendance Solutions can benefit your organisation, please contact us.


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