£522 Annual Loss - per employee


According to the CIPD Absence Management Survey 2016 - The most common causes of short-term absence now includes non-genuine absence and an increase in Line Manager respsonsibility in handling these absences.

Listed below are the top five short-term absence reasons, with some handy snippets of HR insight to guide you in the right direction.

1. Minor illness (for example colds/flu, stomach upsets, headaches and migraines) 95% of respondents

For stomach upsets let employees know the arrangements for remaining off site until symptoms have eased and consider offering flu jabs at this time of year.

2. Stress 47% of respondents It's good practice to meet with employees to discuss a stress risk assessment which identifies particular activities/situations that are triggering stress-related feelings at work.

3. Musculoskeletal injuries (for example neck strains) 44% of respondents Carry out a workplace risk assessment to determine if there are any possible triggers or activities that are exacerbating the condition.

4. Home/family/carer responsibilities 35% of respondents

Employees can take unpaid time off for emergency situations and sometimes organisations often enhance this provision. It's important to track this time, to ensure that a) it isn’t being abused and b) give you the opportunity to discuss absence, if you deem it necessary to do so.

5. Mental ill-health (for example clinical depression and anxiety) 34% of respondents It's important to discuss mental health illnesses with your staff and agree plans should there be a future absence. Examples include : - an emergency contact

- process for self-referral to Occupational health or counsellors

Managing Absence

The findings of the report state that more organisations (across all sectors) include giving line managers primary responsibility for managing absence (2016: 28%; 2015: 17%; 2014: 20%) and giving sickness absence information to line managers (2016: 25%; 2015: 18%; 2014: 21%) among their most effective methods for managing short-term absence.

Tracking absence effectively by using software like our breatheHR software, can help you identify non-genuine and genuine absences and therefore give you information to take approproriate action.

If you need support with any aspect of managing staff absence, occupational health management, or specialist HR advice, please speak to us by calling 028 900 800 17.

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