Sick Days Cost Companies £13bn

Staff Absence

15.05.2008

Staff absence is costing firms more than £13 billion a year - despite the fact that workers are taking fewer days off sick, according to a new report.

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) study found that the average number of sick days taken last year was 6.7, compared with seven days in 2006. The cost to industry fell by £13.4 billion to £13.2 billion.

Long-term absence of 20 days or more accounted for 40% of all time lost.

The gulf between absence rates in the public and private sectors grew to a record level in 2007, with public sector workers taking an average of nine days off sick compared with 5.8 for those in private firms.

Susan Anderson, the CBI's Director of Human Resources Policy, said: "Employers face two serious and expensive challenges - dealing with bogus sick days, and helping those with long-term illness return to work when they are fit to do so."

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