Below are statistics from CIPD surveys on average absence rates and levels of growth of presenteeism being identified by organisations.

Statistics from CIPD absence management annual survey 2016:

  • Average level of absence 6.3 days per employee
  • Manual workers have 2.1 more days absence per year on average than non manual workers.
  • Overall median cost of absense per employee £522
  • Based on averages if employing 100 members of staff, 630 days lost to absence

How does your organisation compare?

Do you know the trends for absence within your business?


We all understand absence, presenteeism is where employees are coming into work when they are ill.

Presenteeism will be difficult to quantify in any business, but statistics from CIPD surveys indicate there is more awareness or appreciation towards presenteeism in the workplace.

86% of over 1000 respondents to CIPD Health and Wellbeing at Work Survey 2018 responded they had observered presenteeism in their organisation in previous 12 months.

Compared to 72% in 2016 and 26% in 2010

Increased presenteeism is likely to be associated with increases in reporting and awareness around mental health conditions

Only 25% of respondents to the survey say their organisation had taken steps to discourage presenteeism.

We can all associate health and safety with certain high risk industries such as construction and agriculture.

From a FT article www.ft.com/content/2ce78f36-ed2e-11e5-888e-2eadd5fbc4a4 the service industry sector accounts for 80% of the economy.

From an ACAS article http://m.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4857 on average the cost to replace a single employee is over £30,000.

The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 places the following duty on employers:

“It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees.”

As employers have a duty to ensure the health of employees, it would be right for employers to assess factors which may contribute towards absence and presenteeism, put simple measures in place, these could include:

  • Providing free fruit for employees
  • Anti bacterial sanitizing gel
  • Train line managers and employees in mental health awareness
  • Arrange for a physiotherapist to attend site on a periodic basis to aid employees with any musculoskeletal problems.
  • Provide access for employees to confidential counselling service
  • flexible working
  • Quiet areas
  • Table tennis table, scalextric, pool table etc.

How often do you consult with your employees regarding health?

Do you have a health and safety committee with employee representatives?

Employees themselves will be the best people to advise on ideas which will aid in improving the overall health and wellbeing of all employees and with their engagement will see the best possible results.

Apart from potential legal duty, employees are likely to be a company’s biggest asset, by taking steps to improve the health and wellbeing of employees will in turn likely have benefits in regards to productivity and performance.

With any measures implemented key performance indicators should be set to gauge effectiveness and level of improvement achieved.

In the following article Sir Dave Brailsford Head Coach of British Cycling discusses marginal gains, one of the actions taken to aid with marginal gains for overall improvement was teaching athletes about proper hand washing to avoid illness. https://hbr.org/2015/10/how-1-performance-improvements-led-to-olympic-gold

Another way to think about the issue is that we all accept that every number of miles a car will require servicing to maintain performance. The health and wellbeing of employees can also be considered in the same way, if we look after employees, will aid to improve and develop performance.

If you need assistance, Sky Blue Safety Ltd are able to support your business please contact us.