‘Sickies’ down, says CBI

Workers took off fewer sick days last year, claims a new survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

Workers took off fewer sick days last year, claims a new survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI).
The report found the average UK worker took 6.4 days off through sickness, the lowest rate since 1987. In 2007 – the most recent statistic – the rate was 6.7 days off per year.
But despite the drop, sick days cost the British economy a whopping £16.8bn last year, claims the CBI/Pfizer absence and workplace health survey.
Figures varied between the public and private sectors. Employees in the public sector took off an average of 8.3 days, but private sector workers only went sick on 5.8 days.
Those who took part in the poll admitted that about 15% of days off were not down to genuine illness.
Katja Hall, director of employment policy at the CBI, said: ”Although the rate of employee absence has fallen in the public sector, it is still a lot higher than in the private sector, and this issue should be addressed, especially given that the pulbic finances are strained.”
If the public sector matched the private sector in terms of absence rate, £5.5bn could be saved by 2015-16, she estimated.
”The rate of employees absence has come down, but it still costs the economy billions of pounds a year.,” said Ms Hall.
” If absence levels acrossthe board could be reduced by 10%, the economy would see annual savings of just under £1.7bn. Unfortunately bogus sick days remain a problem, and are unfair on hard-working colleagues and employers alike.”





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