Most common causes of absence

EXCLUSIVE: Minor ailments, flu and colds have consistently been the most common cause of sickness absence, according to research by Employee Benefits.

The Employee Benefits Healthcare research 2013, which surveyed 376 HR and benefits professionals, found that 85% of respondents cited these as the most common causes, up from 78% in 2012 and 79% in 2009.

Musculoskeletal ailments remain in second place, cited by 49%, followed by personal mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety.

All three of these issues have risen up employers’ agendas over the years, with many taking steps to offer support to employees, both on a preventative and rehabilitative basis.

With sickness absence also becoming a key issue for employers, it is positive to see that 68% of respondents collate the level of sickness absence in their organisation.

However, this is a drop from the 2012 and 2010 research, when 80% and 83% of respondents, respectively, did so.

Most common causes of sickness absence