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Sickness absence — a key piece to the productivity puzzle?

We recently wrote about the productivity puzzle and how the UK lags very far behind most of the other major economies of the G7 on this particular measure. There are of course many pieces to this particular puzzle – and a timely report by The Work Foundation highlights how sickness absence plays a part in this issue also.

Some selected facts from The Work Foundation report are shown below:

  • 1 in 3 employees have a long-term health condition (LTC)
  • 42% of the above grouping feel their condition affects their work
  • 14% of the working age population of England have more than one LTC
  • The cost of lost productivity of those who are out of the workforce is in excess of £60bn

And it’s a growing problem. With a rapidly ageing working population in the UK the numbers of employees with LTCs is predicted to rise – with 40% of the working age population likely to have such a condition by 2030.

These facts – and others that are included in The Work Foundation report – really drive home the fact that UK business must tackle workplace ill-health and sickness absence if the UK is to address its productivity deficit in the coming years.

We will be looking at these topics over the coming months – starting with our (already sold out) Annual Health and Wellbeing event this week at the Barber Surgeons Hall. 

In the meantime we would urge employers to again consider how their sickness absence policies and employee benefits packages can be best used to tackle this issue. 

For more information, please speak to your usual Jelf consultant. For the full original article and other similar posts please visit the Jelf Group blog.



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