When trying to prevent absenteeism as an employer, it is important to understand common trends in employee sickness…

1. Minor illnesses

Although this is a less serious kind of sickness, in recent years 75% of short term absences were attributed to minor illnesses such as coughs and colds. These types of illnesses, although common, tend to have a shorter duration.

2. Stress

Many jobs will incur stress at some point. Stress may be related to workload demands, job security, working relationships or work-life balance. All of these factors can lead to an employee needing time away from the workplace.

3. Musculoskeletal injuries/back pain

Although minor illnesses are the top cause of absence in the workplace, more days are lost due to musculoskeletal injuries/back pain. Injuries and back pain are more common with manual work forces, such as factory workers, however back pain could also be associated with office workers and employees in other administrative roles.

4. Mental health conditions

1 in 4 workers will experience depression, anxiety or mental health problems at some point. Mental health conditions may be pre-existing in workers, or they can be brought on by factors such as stress, both work-related and non-work related. Mental health conditions can be an ongoing reason for employees needing time off work.

5. Disengagement

Employees that have a low morale at work are more likely to find excuses to avoid attending. This could be brought on by a number of factors; feeling of being underappreciated and undervalued, bullying or harassment in the workplace, lacking in motivation, lack of respect for management or feelings of unfair treatment. Some factors that may cause an employee’s disengagement are avoidable whereas others may be due a position or the business not suiting an employee.

There are many ways in which you can cut the cost of sickness in your business, click here for our blog on methods to reduce absenteeism.

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