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Cutting costs of staff sickness

Staff sickness absence is costing companies up to 16 per cent of their annual salary bill but half the costs could be avoided, according to research by income protection provider Unum.

The report is the culmination of a year-long survey by the Institute of Employment Studies of a crosssection of UK businesses on behalf of Unum.

It finds that despite concern at the expense of rising sickness absence, employers consistently underestimate the cost to their business and have few strategies in place to manage such absences.

The report found one in seven adults will be off work for six months because of illness or injury and that individual employers can take a 16 per cent hit on their payroll because of absence.

But it found businesses can reduce the costs of sickness absence by up to 50 per cent through effective management, early intervention when staff are sick and rehabilitation and return to work programmes.

Director of marketing Eugene McCormack says: “Organisations that continue to ignore their absence costs are operating inefficiently. Taking steps to reduce these costs by investing in group income protection can help to manage costs and keep them to a minimum.”

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