Sickness is costing UK companies more than 1,000 per employee every year
The figure for absenteeism is at least £662 per employee, according to Hewitt Associates, although this rises by as much as 60% once indirect costs such as lost productivity, overtime and recruitment are included.
Unsurprisingly, the biggest causes of absence were found to stress and depression. More than half of employers (56%) state stress is an issue in their organisation
James Kenrick, head of UK corporate healthcare consulting at Hewitt Associates, said:
"The report makes it clear that stress is predicted to be the main cause of employee
Hewitt Associates, however, estimate that if employers implement employee wellbeing schemes they will see a return on investment of £3 for every £1 that they spend.
Kenrick added: "Reducing absenteeism is the ultimate goal for employers. To achieve
this, they need to approach the problem from a total health management perspective.
This means developing a co-
According to Buck Consultants, who surveyed 600 companies in 25 countries, less than half (46%) that adopted an absence management strategy have reported a moderate to high reduction in employee absence as a result compared with 61% who made an effort to improve morale and engagement.
In the UK only 16.4% of employers have fully implemented a health promotion and wellness strategy, while 34.5% have partially implemented a programme that they intend to develop over the next two years. Only 3.6% have no plans at the moment to introduce a wellbeing strategy.
But the survey showed 41% of UK companies do not measure the impact their workplace wellness strategies have on absenteeism.
Adrian Norris, head of Buck Consulting's UK health consulting practice, said: "Even a small incremental reduction in employee absence can produce considerable savings for employers. Worldwide 40% to 60% of organisations are not measuring the impact of these strategies and don't know the extent of the benefits."
He added: "In the current climate, we fully expect employers to increasingly recognise
the impact a fully implemented wellness strategy can have on employee engagement
and productivity -