EXCLUSIVE: 35% of organisations have no strategy to reduce sickness absence

reducing sickness absenceEXCLUSIVE: The percentage of organisations that do not have a strategy for reducing sickness absence has risen by 11%, from 24% in 2017 to 35% this year, according to research by Employee Benefits and Health Shield.

The Employee Benefits/Health Shield healthcare research 2018 report, which surveyed 162 respondents in July 2018, also found that there has been a sharp rise in disciplinary procedures as a method of reducing absence. This number has risen from 29% last year to 50% in 2018.

Arguably counterbalancing the disciplinary side, incentivisation in the form of attendance-related bonuses has also risen, from 5% to 16%.

The use of data is increasing, with 39% of respondents providing absence statistics to line managers, although early interventions by line managers has reduced as a core method to reduce sick leave by 10%, moving from the top of the list down to second place.

More organisations are limiting the number of sick days on full pay for employees, as this option has risen from 26% to 36% in 2018.

Return-to-work interviews have only risen by 4%, but this is enough to place this option at the top of the list.

Despite the rising prominence of flexible working in UK offices, the proportion of respondents using this as a method of reducing sickness absence has reduced by 7%, while health education has also decreased, from 58% to 50%.


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