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More workers coming into work unwell, study shows

News | Illness | Wellbeing | CIPD

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Almost a third of employees have noticed an increase in people coming to work while unwell, a new study has found.

Research from the Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) and Simplyhealth found that 31 per cent of respondents have noticed a rise in presenteeism over the last year, while the study also found that presenteeism is more likely in cultures with long working hours.

Employers that have noticed an increase in presenteeism are almost twice as likely as those who haven’t to record a rise in stress-related absence, and over twice as likely to record a rise in mental health problems among staff. 

However, 56 per cent of organisations that have recorded a rise in presenteeism have not taken any steps to discourage it. On top of this, the public sector has been hit by absence and presenteeism, with overall levels of absence rising from 7.9 days to 8.7 days. 

Ben Willmott, Head of Public Policy at the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, said: “This is the fifth year in a row in which thirty per cent or more of employers have reported an increase in employees coming into work when they are ill. 

“It’s a real concern that the problem of presenteeism is persisting, as we might have expected it to drop during the economic recovery as people tend to feel more secure in their jobs.”

The CIPD has suggested that more organisations should develop employee wellbeing strategies to promote good health, urging for a clear focus on values and organisational culture. 

Findings also showed that stress-related absence was a problem for 41 per cent of organisations, with workload being the number one reason for this.


Posted by Jon Aspinell on 14th October 2015

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