Sickness absence down by 47 million days from 1993

Posted on 26 Feb 2014 by The Manufacturer

New figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that the number of days lost to sickness absence has fallen by 47 million in the past 20 years.

According to the research, the total number of days lost to sickness has fallen to 131 million, which marks an average of four days a year per worker.

The percentage lost to sickness within the private sector was found to be at 1.8 per cent, compared with the figure of 2.9 per cent in the public sector.

In addition, workers in London were found to have the lowest percentage of hours lost to sickness.

It also revealed that men have lower sickness absence rates than women, while sickness absence was also found to rise with age but fall following eligibility for state pension.

Jamie Jenkins, statistician with the ONS, said that while sickness has fallen significantly in the past 20 years, the fall has been levelling off since 2011 with “very little change over the past two years”.

Ami Naru, an employment specialist at national law firm, Irwin Mitchell, said: “Whilst sickness absence in the workplace is inevitable and unavoidable most of the time, employers have toughened up in terms of policing sickness, with appropriate policies and procedures in place.

“The fall in sickness absence, although welcome news, will therefore probably not come as a surprise to those prudent employers who have such policies in place.”