Kavitha’s keynote: Reducing sickness absence rates is a priority

Kavitha's keynote

Earlier this week, we reported that almost a third (29%) of organisations do not record their long-term sickness absence rates, bringing the issue of employee health into the spotlight once again.

The EEF health and work survey 2018, carried out by manufacturers’ organisation EEF, in association with insurance provider Howden, also found that while just under a third (29%) of organisations identify work-related sickness absence levels, almost two-fifths (37%) do not.

Despite failing to adequately monitor sickness absence rates, it is perhaps surprising to note that almost all employers are introducing measures to help reintegrate employees back into work. Phased returns to work (89%), reduced or different hours (84%) and time off for medical appointments (70%) are all ways in which this is being supported.

These results clearly show that employers are increasingly recognising the need to support staff in this area; ultimately, a healthy workforce is a more productive workforce.

This is also supported by findings from Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) and LCP, which revealed that nearly three in 10 employers are likely to increase investment in their health and wellbeing benefits in the next two years, for example around occupational sick pay, employee assistance programmes (EAPs) and flu jabs.

The Reward management report also found that 43% are most likely to spend more on professional development in the next two years, while a quarter intend to boost investment in financial benefits such as pension schemes, loans to help staff in financial hardship and free money and debt advice.

The CIPD welcomed these findings, which it believes demonstrate that organisations are committed to investing in their employees and their future, despite the recent economic and political uncertainty.

On the subject of looking forward, in this case to the more immediate future, Employee Benefits Connect, taking place at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge London on 27 February 2019, is now open for registration.

Exploring the future of reward, the event will explore topics such as health and wellbeing, employee engagement, recognition strategies, mental health and workplace culture, among others. It will also provide delegates with the opportunity to discover the latest innovations in the HR and benefits market.

Register now to avoid missing the chance to learn and gain insight from leading providers, network with industry peers and share best practice.

Kavitha Sivasubramaniam
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