Absenteeism in the workplace

Absenteeism is commonly defined as an employee’s intentional or habitual absence from work. It is a complex issue to tackle and can be quite challenging, it not only has an impact on your bottom line but also on staff productivity.

Did you know that?

  • Sickness absence costs UK businesses an estimated £29bn each year. [1]
  • The average worker takes 6.6 days off each year due to sickness. [2]
  • An estimated 137.3m working days were lost due to sickness or injury in the UK in 2016. [3]
  • The most common causes for long-term absence were stress, acute medical conditions, mental ill health and musculoskeletal injuries. [4]
  • The most common causes for short-term absence were minor illness, stress, musculoskeletal injuries and mental ill health. [5]

How to tackle it?

Investing in workplace wellness initiatives can help to minimise absenteeism by creating a healthy workplace culture that provides employers with the tools to help improve the health and wellness of their workplace.

Behavioural changes

Wellness solutions can help employees to make healthy behavioural changes that could be affecting their health and in turn making them absent from work. Offering employees lifestyle assessment days provide employees with an overview on their health and gives a clear picture of where they are now and what lifestyle changes need to be made to become healthier. Educating employees about certain health topics can make them more conscious and aware of health issues, this can be done through a health calendar which provides a bespoke programme of monthly wellness campaign or wellbeing workshops or wellbeing events.

Provide employee support

In order for employers to be able to best support their staff there needs to be training on a management level so that managers can become competent, confident and compliant in dealing with any issues that may be affecting their attendance. This kind of support can make the world of difference to employees going through a difficult time and make them feel valued. Your Wellness Hub offer management training days which the topics include mental health awareness, understanding the relationship between pressure and performance, managing and dealing with stress in the workplace, managing change, developing resilient teams and developing personal resilience for leaders.


Reduce stress

Workplace is a big source of stress and 15 million working days are lost per year due to stress, depression and anxiety. [6] Stress can cause unplanned absences, therefore try to create a workplace environment where employees feel comfortable talking to line managers who will then try to eliminate areas of stress and tension. Wellness solutions can also help employees to relax such as office yoga, office Pilates, office massage, office tai chi, office reflexology, office aromatherapy or office beauty.


If you are looking to implement a wellness strategy into your business, please visit Your Wellness Hub on www.yourwellnesshub.co.uk or email us on [email protected].


[1] Health at Work: Economic Evidence Report 2016

[2] Health at Work: Economic Evidence Report 2016

[3] ONS Sickness absence in the labour market: 2016

[4] CIPD Health and Well-being at Work Survey Report May 2018

[5] CIPD Health and Well-being at Work Survey Report May 2018

[6] Public Health England – Health and work: infographics