National Sickie Day – a reminder for Employers to tackle employee absence management issues

Today has been dubbed, ‘National Sickie Day’ with UK employers are braced for employees to call in sick, as it is more likely today than any other day of the year.

Employment law experts, the ELAS Group, who first identified this day in 2011, says that factors including the end of Dry January and the arrival of the first pay packet for 2019 will increase the likelihood of sickies.

Absence management expert, Adrian Lewis, director at Activ Absence says,

“Whether or not National Sickie Day really exists is actually debatable. In January and February, there are always higher levels of absences because of sickness and, it is a dreary time of year so inevitably there will be some individuals who are tired or who just don’t feel like getting out of bed.”

“But one positive element of National Sickie Day is that it highlights the important issue of employee absenteeism, which is a huge cost to businesses.”

“The latest figures from the CIPD and Simply Health[i] into absence trends, health and wellbeing at work highlighted UK employees are sick 6.6 days a year and 8.5 in the public sector but only a third of companies actually monitor how much it is actually costing them or the impact it is having on their business productivity and employees picking up the work of absent colleagues.”

“CBI research found that 86% of companies had experienced presenteeism. Another concern is the growing number of absences related to mental health issues. Only by monitoring absence accurately will businesses pick up on these issues.”

“When companies start to record and monitor their data, they can spot patterns more easily such as individuals taking long weekends frequently or employees using the same excuses which could mean something serious happening. We think National Sickie Day is a reminder to businesses to take absence management seriously and to put in place formal systems o better manage absence and tackle their issues this year.” 

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