Sickness absence higher than pre-pandemic

Sickness absence higher than pre-pandemic
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Team, Peninsula Team

(Last updated )

UK employees were absent for an average of 7.8 days over the past year according to new survey findings from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Simplyhealth.

This research shows that employees took two days of sickness absence more than during pre-pandemic times.

With employers under increasing pressure from recruitment and retention challenges, the two organisations are calling on employers to have an open and supportive culture where people can speak to line managers about health issues and access helpful support and adjustments such as flexible working options and health services.

Rachel Suff, Senior Employee Wellbeing Adviser at the CIPD, said: “Despite our research showing that most organisations are focusing on employee wellbeing, the considerable rise in absences across all sectors is a worry. External factors like the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis have had profound impacts on many people’s wellbeing.”

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and Health & Safety questions

As well as an overall increase in absence, it found stress to be a significant factor for both short and long-term absence, with over 76% of respondents reporting stress-related absence in their organisation in the past year.

The top causes of short-term absence are minor illnesses (94%), musculoskeletal injuries (45%) and mental ill health (39%). With regard to long-term absence, the main reasons are mental ill health (63%), acute medical conditions such as stroke or cancer (51%) and musculoskeletal injuries (51%).

The findings also show that over a third (37%) of organisations reported Covid-19 as still being a significant cause of short-term absence.

She has urged employers to implement a more systematic and preventative approach to workplace health. This means managing the main risks to people’s health from work to prevent stress as well as early intervention to prevent health issues from escalating where possible, Ms Suff explained.

For more information on managing sickness absence, visit BrAInbox today where you can find answers to questions like I've just received a fit note from my employee, what do I need to do?

Related articles

  • health and safety in cosmetics


    Is talc-based makeup exposing women to asbestos?

    Scores of British women are bringing lawsuits to US courts, claiming they have contracted mesothelioma. But the defendant isn’t a construction company exposing its workers to asbestos. It’s cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson, and the products supposedly causing this fatal disease are beauty products.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Health & Safety
  • london skyline


    London ranked eighth most expensive global city

    Soaring rents, inflationary pressures and the cost of living crisis sees London move up the rankings as one of the most expensive cities to live and work

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Pay & Benefits
  • polling station


    What could a general election mean for employment law?

    Here's what the big three have each vowed to do should they come away with an election win.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Employment Law
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and Health & Safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.