EXCLUSIVE: 41% of organisations have a strategy to manage sickness absence

41% of organisations have a strategy to manage sickness absence

Just under half (41%) of respondents have a strategy in place to manage sickness absence in their organisation, according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Employee Benefits Healthcare research, which surveyed 200 readers of employeebenefits.co.uk, found that this has changed little over the past three years with this percentage fluctuating between 39% and 42%.

A further fifth of respondents say that they are planning to introduce an absence management strategy, however, this represents a fall on the proportion that were planning to do so in previous years. Although the numbers this year are relatively small, where respondents do have a strategy in place to manage sickness absence, work-life balance or flexible-working policies, the provision of access to care, return-to-work interviews, health promotion or education, and early intervention by line managers, are the key tools employed by respondents to manage absence. This is in line with those used by respondents to 2019’s survey.

The most popular methods of supporting employees with long-term health issues have not changed since this question was introduced in 2018. The order in which the top two appear in the chart this year, however, has shifted with flexible working leapfrogging employee assistance programmes (EAPs). This year, however, is the first time we have separated out EAPs and other counselling services, offered by 50% of respondents, which may partially account for this move. Private medical insurance and group income protection also remain key benefits through which respondents support employees with long-term health issues

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Click here to download the Employee Benefits Healthcare research 2020