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Sick days taken by workers at lowest since records began

Statistics released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show that the number of workers calling in sick is at its lowest level since records began nearly 25 years ago. According to the ONS, in 2016 a worker lost on average 4.3 days to sickness in comparison to the 7.2 days that a worker lost while taking sick leave in 1993.

The figures revealed that minor illness was the most common reason for workers taking sick leave, with 34 million days being lost to workers calling in sick due to minor illnesses such as coughs and sore throats.  In addition, the ONS suggested that it was the elderly, women, public health workers and those suffering from long-term health conditions that more frequently called in sick.

The report also considers sickness rates by region, suggesting that the lowest rates of sickness were in London at 1.4%, with Wales and Scotland having a higher rate of sick workers at 2.6% and 2.5% respectively.

Although this appears to be good news it would seem that with reduced absenteeism comes increased presenteeism i.e. people unfit but in work so that absences are not recorded.  This could mean you have people in work who are not performing to the standards and targets expected by them.  If this continues performance management procedures may need to be commenced.

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