Businesses lose millions of days to sick leave

CMI: Almost two million workers have been on sick leave for at least a month, new findings have revealed. Not only is this having a detrimental impact on the career progression of workers, it also has cost implications for employers in terms of productivity and resources.

Figures released by the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) showed that more than 130 million days are still being lost to sickness absence every year in Britain, while working-age ill health costs the national economy £100 billion a year.

The government has recently launched a Health and Work Service to help employees who have been on sickness absence for four weeks to return to work.It claims that the service will save employers £70 million a year and cut the time people spend off work by 20 per cent to 40 per cent.

Mike Penning, minister of state for Work and Pensions, said: “As part of the government’s long-term economic plan, we are taking action to improve get people back into work. This is a triple-win. It will mean more people with a job, reduced cost for business, and a more financially secure future for Britain.”

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