Fleet News

Staff sickness costs UK firms billions of pounds

Absenteeism costs the UK economy billions of pounds a year, it has been revealed.

Last year £13.2 billion was lost due to staff taking time off sick, with the average employee taking nearly seven (6.7) days off ill, according to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and AXA insurance.

A recent CBI/AXA survey also found that the gap in absence rates between the public and private sectors has reached an all-time high.

The average absence level in the private sector was just under six days (5.8), whereas the average public sector worker took nine sick days off work in 2007.

Of the 172 million days lost due to absence last year, 12% are thought to be non-genuine “sickies”.

Susan Anderson, director of HR policy at the CBI, said false absences were costing the economy huge amounts of money.

“People who award themselves sickies to enjoy sunny weather or to extend a weekend away are acting unfairly, leaving their colleagues to pick up their work, and costing taxpayers and employers over a billion pounds a year.”

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