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A Third of Employers Report Increase in Presenteeism

October 12, 2015
Health and Safety

The annual workplace survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) and Simplyhealth has found that 31% of employers report an increase in employees coming to work when they are ill. So called ‘presenteeism’ is more prominent in an environment where working long hours is seen as the norm.

The survey also suggests that employers that have seen an increase are more likely to see greater rates of stress related absence. The problem is particularly acute in the public sector where services are being stretched by austerity cuts. Ben Wilmott, Head of Public Policy at CIPD is concerned about the steady rise in employees working through illness.

“This is the fifth year in a row in which 30% or more of employers have reported an increase in employees coming in to work when they are ill,” He said. “It’s a real concern that the problem of presenteeism is persisting, as we might have expected it to drop during the economic recovery as people tend to feel more secure in their jobs. The message to businesses is clear: if you want your workforce to work well, you have to take steps to keep them well and this means putting employee health above operational demands.”

There has been little change in total levels of staff absence with employees in the private sector taking an average 6.9 days a year compared to 8.7 days in the public sector.

You can download a full copy of the CIPD survey HERE.