Employment Law Services

Sick absences falling, but "sickies" still cost £2.5bn

180 million days were taken in sick leave by employees last year, according to the latest CBI/Pfizer Absence and Workplace Health Survey, conducted between February and April 2010.

The current trend is seeing sick leave absences reduced, possibly helped by employees feeling worried about their job and preferring to attend work even when they are ill.

The survey, which covered 241 organisations across the public & private sector, found that an estimated 15% of sick leave was not genuine. If accurate, this figure means the so-called “sickie” costs the economy £2.5bn a year.

On average, the private sector has an average absence rate of 5.8 days.

New “fit notes” have been brought in since April, and it is hoped this will see more staff in work – even if the duties they’re able to perform are limited, at least some work should be performed.

For more assistance on managing staff absences, employers should consider the attendance advice available from Employment Law Clinic, or contact us for support.