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Winter is coming

View profile for Chloe Pereira
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Forget wolves, walls and the Houses of Westeros, a challenge facing businesses at this time of year is higher levels of germs, sickness and absence.

In 2017 the Office for National Statistics reported that the average number of sick days taken by UK workers fell to 4.1 days. That’s a big difference from the 7.2 days recorded in 1993 when data was first collected – but the statistics suggest the cost to businesses of absent employees has risen regardless. Illnesses like coughs and colds make up 26% of those absences and the ONS suggests although sick day numbers have dropped, that may be because more employees are battling in when not well enough (which begs the question whether they are being particularly productive)!

What sort of employer are you? Do you appreciate that your employees put in extra time unpaid when needed, you definitely don’t want them sharing their germs around causing more absence, and so encourage them to rest up and return when better? Or have you been burned badly perhaps by taking a lenient approach in the past, so are more cynical and keen for employees to soldier on and be present?

Short term cold type absences are usually straight-forward to manage, but frustration and difficulty can creep in when an absence becomes more long term.

For our tips on how to manage absence take a look out our Outset Insight on Sickness Absence.