Data shows absence costs rising

The number of days lost to sickness fell from 168 million in 2004 to 164 million in 2005, according to the latest annual CBI/Axa Absence and labour turnover survey.

Despite the reduction in days lost, the cost of absence, which includes covering the salaries of absent staff, paying overtime and providing temporary cover, rose to £531 per employee per year in 2005, up from £495 in 2004.

The survey also found that as many as 13% of days lost to sickness were considered to be non-genuine by employers, at a cost of £1.2 billion to the economy.

To purchase a copy of the survey (priced £40), visit