National Sickie Day – what’s the (real) excuse?
It is National Sickie Day today – did you log on as ‘unusual’ from the kitchen table or could you just absolutely not face being ‘Zoom-ready’ yet again? Today is apparently the day when most workers will call in sick as an excuse for a day off. But this year especially, it’s time to take a closer look behind the zoom fatigue and consider what is driving absenteeism.
According to statistics from the HSE, stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 55% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health in 2019/20. This accounted for 17.9 million lost working days. Worryingly this report was published in November 2020 featuring pre-pandemic data. We’re all now navigating a whole new set of mental health concerns borne out of the pandemic itself, so employers need to take urgent steps to support their teams through this mental health emergency.
Counting the costs – sickness absence from work is often unavoidable, but when unduly prolonged it is wasteful and costs organisations money and time whilst potentially decreasing workplace cohesion.
Mental ill health-related absences are estimated to cost at least £26 billion per year. The Thriving at Work Report: a review of mental health and employers research, estimate the cost of mental ill-health at up to £1,560 per year, per employee.
A skilled approach – absence management approaches and specialist mental health absence training equips managers with the confidence to address absence and mental health issues, to have open conversations with employees and to communicate clear structures and policies which assists when absence is becoming an issue which needs to be dealt with.
Research demonstrates, that training managers to effectively deal with sickness absence significantly reduces sickness absence rates. Employers value access to independent expert advice and training on the functional capabilities of sick employees, especially in longer-term and more difficult instances of sickness absence where there is great risk of people never working again.
According to statistics from the HSE, stress, depression or anxiety accounted for 55% of all working days lost due to work-related ill health in 2019/20. This accounted for 17.9 million lost working days.
The right tools – BHSF Psychological Services Managing Director Tracey Paxton has developed Managing Sickness Absence and Mental Health in the Workplace training to assist organisations to reduce absence in the workplace and improve workplace productivity to create an ‘Attendance Culture’. This specialist training equips managers to acquire the right capabilities and tools and to gain the ability and confidence to have sensitive conversations, intervene when needed, and signpost to the right support where necessary.
The course enables workplaces to:
- To examine the issue of absence in the workplace while providing a framework for discovering the root cause of absence
- To provide supervisors and managers with the essential skills to investigate and manage instances of absence fairly
- Equip managers with the skills and knowledge to support and manage staff with mental health problems
- Understand the factors that affect staff in the workplace
- To provide a toolkit to assist managers in the management of long-term sickness absence
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