Employers ‘Changing Working Patterns To Tackle Long-Term Absence’

CIPD Research Reveals Businesses Are Shifting Approach


An increasing number of businesses are introducing more flexible approaches to work in order to reduce the level of long-term absence among their workforce, according to new research.

A report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has found that the average rate of absence in the UK is 7.6 days a year per employee.

It also found that short-term absences of up to seven days could be attributed to most working time lost, with the CIPD adding that an increase in flexibility was being used by employers to cut levels of long-term leave.

Dr Jill Miller, a research adviser at the CIPD, said that changing demographics and responsibilities mean that many people are increasingly looking to work “untraditional hours”.

The release of the report has come after a survey by YouGov commissioned by Citrix found that 63 per cent of business executives trust their workers to get work done when they are not in the office, with many also stating flexible working means staff can maintain a quality work-life balance.

Expert Opinion
The CIPD’s report is yet another indicator that flexible working is proving to be a way forward for businesses of all sizes.

“Small businesses should seriously consider the benefits of such an approach and how it can help in terms of issues including productivity and staff retention. However, it is also vital that smaller companies ensure they have robust policies in place to ensure that workers are always aware of their responsibilities when it comes to working away from the office.

“Flexible working is undoubtedly a very important tool but the proper implementation of such systems of work is vital to ensure that issues do not arise in the future.”
Fergal Dowling, Partner