In research published by the CIPD we find that employee sick days are the highest they have been in a 10 year period. The numbers show that staff took an average of 7.8 sick days over the part year, compared to 5.8 in the year leading up to the lockdowns.
Blaming the increase in stress, workload, and the cost-of-living crisis, the research looked at 6.5 million employees across 900 organisations. While short term sickness absence was attributed to minor illnesses or musculoskeletal injuries and mental health, the long-term sickness absences were caused by mental health issues, injuries, cancer, or strokes.
While the trade group acknowledged the use of short-term fixes (lunchtime ice cream vans were dropped specifically), the importance of creating an open and supportive work culture where employees can come forward with questions was highlighted as one of the primary ways to reduce staff absence and increase their engagement with the business.