EXCLUSIVE: 55% do not measure sickness absence cost

sickness absence cost

EXCLUSIVE: More than half (55%) of respondents either do not know or do not record the percentage of payroll represented by sickness absence cost per annum, according to research by Employee Benefits and Health Shield.

The Employee Benefits/Health Shield healthcare research 2018 report, which measured 162 responses and was published in August, found that while the percentage of respondents who were aware of how much sickness absence costs their organisation in 2017 was 39%, this has increased to 45% in 2018.

In 2017, the highest number of respondents (13%) who did measure the cost said that sickness absence represented less than 1% of payroll, while this year that response lowers to 7%.

Meanwhile, 11% of respondents say these costs represent 5% of payroll, which is an increase of 6% on last year.

The proportion of organisations that actively measure their sickness absence levels has not changed significantly since last year, dropping from 70% to 64%, but this decrease adds to an ongoing trend since 2010, when the number was closer to 80%.

Within those organisations that do measure sickness absence, the largest proportion of employees (36%) take between three and five days, down from 41% in 2017. It is also notable that the percentage taking more than 15 sick days per year has more than halved, from 3% in 2017, to 1% this year.