A quarter of companies reported that non-genuine illness was one of the top 5 reasons for staff short-term absence in the workplace. This presents a major problem for companies as the cost of annual absence per employee currently stands at £522.

The non-genuine absence varies by sector, with the private sector more likely to rank higher for illegitimate absence. Manual workers are 10% more likely to have non-genuine illness (30%) compared to their non-manual (20%) counterparts.

7% of companies also stated that non-genuine illness was in the top five common cause of long term absence from the workplace. The top reason for short term absence is from the workplace is cold & flu, headaches and stomach upsets.

One of the major problems that companies face is that they are not correctly documenting absence within their workplace. With only 25% of organisations stating that absence management is part of their company priorities. Organisations that fail to report absence are at a high risk of inaccurately recording data, or absence being missed all together.

More companies however are realizing that line managers play an essential role in managing absence, with 57% tasked to manage short term absence. Issues arise however as fewer companies are providing the relevant support or training for them to complete their tasks effectively, with less employers providing training than the previous year.

This is one of the primary reasons why absence is not being recorded correctly in many organisations, and why staff feel they can take a ‘sickie’ without any consequences or questions being asked. Companies that do provide support and training for line managers see an increase in team culture and well-being as managers need to be able to deal with sensitive or difficult conversations or staff that are experiencing problems.

One of best ways to manage your absence within the workplace is with an automated absence management system, this way you can track all absence types, such as holiday, sickness, TOIL and record staff overtime. Each absence type is recorded so all staff, managers and HR have a clear overview and historical data, this can help spot trends or issues that may be arising.

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