According to data from XpertHR, employee absence is on the rise as businesses face intense pressure to provide cover at a cost.

In 2016, employee absence has gone up to a median of 6.6 days per employee, rising to 9.1 days for the public sector, equally a working time loss of median 2.9%. The number is higher in larger organisations as the data found that employers with more than 1,000 staff lost 3.8% of working time or 8.8 days per employee.

For companies with fewer than 100 employees that number dropped to just 1.8%.

Year on year

While the numbers are up from 2015, 5.8 days per employee, they are down when compared to 2006, when absence cost businesses 3.5% of working time, or 8 days per employee.

And it’s not just working time that is lost, according to XpertHR, the cost of providing cover for absent employees cost a business an estimated £455 per employee per year. Not to mention the adding ‘cost’ to a business that is directly attributed to absence such as reduced performance or service, missed business opportunities and the added stress to the workforce who need to cover for employees in their absence.

Speaking about the data, Sheila Attwood, XpertHR managing editor for pay and HR practice said:

“High levels of employee sickness absence represent a significant financial cost to the business, and can have an impact on its operations and the wellbeing of those having to cover for absent colleagues. Employers should use the data they collect on absence rates to be proactive in effectively managing absence in their organisation.”

Does your business suffer from a high level of employee absence? If you’re struggling to deal with lost working time and need a solution that works for everyone, contact us to see how we can help.