Increase in presenteeism and mental health problems

2015-10-29 chris posted:

The CIPD has published its annual Absence Management Survey report, which examines trends in workplace absence. 578 organisations across the UK were questioned in reference to 1.5 million employees. The survey shows that 31% of employers have seen an increase in so-called "presenteeism" (employees coming to work ill) in the last 12 months. Presenteeism was found to be more likely to have increased where working long hours is seen to be the norm and operational demands take precedence over employee wellbeing.

Research in 2013 by Canada Life Group Insurance found that 93% of employees surveyed had attended work despite being ill. Employees stated that the reasons for going to work while ill included that:

  • They did not believe their illness was serious enough to warrant a day off.
  • They were faced with pressure of a heavy workload.
  • They were worried about the financial implications of taking time off work.
  • They were made to feel guilty for taking time off by senior members of staff.
  • They felt threatened by the risk of redundancy.

The research also highlighted that 36% of employees would prefer to use their annual holiday while sick rather than suffering a poor sickness record.

In addition, 40% of employers reported an increase in mental health problems at work. Ben Willmott, head of public policy at the CIPD, said: "Unfortunately, this year's survey shows the number of reported mental health problems has increased for many employers, and after over half a decade at these levels, we can't afford to let this issue continue to grow any longer. As a nation we’re getting better at opening up the conversation around mental health, but there is still a long way to go."

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