Figures from the latest CIPD report state that the average level of employee absence has decreased over all sectors, and is at its lowest level for seven years, with the current average sitting at 6.3 days, down slightly from 6.9 days in 2015. However the difference varys considerably between sectors.
The sector seeing the biggest drop in absence is non-profit organisations. The smallest change is within the public sector, where employees had just over 3 more days each year on average when comparing against the private sector. Absence levels are higher within larger organisations, and manual workers now have 2.1 more days absence compared to non-manual workers, rising 1.5 days last year.
The graph below shows the average number of days lost per employee per year, by sector: (source: CIPD 2016 report)
Larger organisations tend to have higher levels of absence, this is regardless of sector, however the disruption levels are higher within smaller organisations and sick pay tends to be less generous. This could be a factor to discourage absence and encourage staff to make a quicker return to work. However the downside to this could be an increase in presenteeism as staff are returning to work or attending work when they are not fully recovered.
The reduction in absence has also attributed to a reduction cost per employee, which now stands at £522 from £554 in 2015. Just over 25% of organisations stated that non-genuine absence is one of their top five cause of short term absence, with the private sector being the most popular sector for absence abuse.
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