Absence management survey published

Posted: 16th October 2013

Cough syrupThe Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has published the findings of its fourteenth absence management survey, carried out in partnership with Simplyhealth.

Key findings are that average absence per employee has increased to 7.6 days per annum – back up to the levels observed in 2010 and 2011 after a small decrease reported in last year’s survey. There is a considerable variation across organisations with some reporting extremely high levels of absence.

Employers are increasingly looking to make changes to working patterns and environments as a way of managing long-term absences (four weeks or more). These account for a fifth of all working time lost.

Flexible working patterns are also being used as a tool to manage short-term absence. Overall, two-thirds of working time lost to absence is accounted for by short-term absences of up to seven days.

Only two-fifths of organisations report that they monitor the cost of employee absence, with the public sector and larger organisations most likely to do so.

Two-fifths of respondents report that stress-related absence has increased over the past year for the workforce as a whole. As in previous years, workload was ranked the most common cause of stress, followed by management style. Stress and musculoskeletal conditions are no longer the main causes of long-term absence. Acute conditions such as cancer, heart attacks and strokes are now the biggest reason for long-term absence.