Alarming rise in sick days: what's happening to UK workers?

By BHSF | June 13th, 2024

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The modern workplace is grappling with a concerning trend: a staggering 55% increase in sickness absence rates since 2019*, as revealed in a recent report by People HR. This isn't a minor fluctuation, it's a significant issue impacting businesses across the UK. Increased sick leave disrupts workflows, decreases productivity, and can negatively affect the bottom line. But more importantly, it's a sign that employees might be struggling.

Understanding the Surge in Sickness Absences

The increase in sickness absence rates can be attributed to several factors. Workplace stress is on the rise, with 79% of UK employees reporting work-related stress**. This heightened pressure and demanding workloads contribute significantly to sickness absence. Additionally, mental health awareness has increased, leading more employees to take time off to address issues such as anxiety, depression, and burnout.

Proactive Measures for Employers

Combating the rise in sick leave requires a proactive approach. Employers can prioritise employee wellbeing by offering a holistic range of strategies that address both physical and mental health concerns. Here's how:

Final Thoughts…

This increase in sickness absence rates is a wake-up call for employers. Addressing this trend requires a holistic approach that prioritises employee health and wellbeing. By fostering a supportive work environment and promoting preventive care, businesses can mitigate the impact of sickness absence and ensure a resilient, productive workforce.

Investing in the health of employees is not just a moral imperative; it is a strategic business decision that will pay dividends in the form of reduced absenteeism, enhanced productivity, and a more engaged and motivated workforce.


* https://www.peoplehr.com/en-gb/resources/blog/sick-leave-report-how-are-different-industries-faring/

** https://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/overview.htm

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