20% report increasing staff sickness rates
According to the latest research by Close Brothers Asset Finance, 20% of transport bosses in the UK report they have seen staff absence levels rise in the last 12 months. The Close Brothers Business Barometer, which canvasses the opinion of SME owners from a variety of sectors across the UK on a quarterly basis, further revealed that over a third of respondents in the industry believe their organisation has a problem with employees abusing sick leave. Of employers surveyed in the sector, 61% cited minor illnesses, such as the flu, to be the main cause of employee absence, with post operative recovery the second most common reason for time off work.
MD of the Transport Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, John Fawcett, said, ‘While the majority of sick leave taken is genuine, absenteeism is a growing problem for many transport firms and if not managed properly, it could have a serious impact on productivity levels. Our research suggests that a considerable number of employers are concerned about the level of non-genuine sickness within their organisation. In the current climate, many workplaces are already stretched and employers are aware that they have a responsibility to protect their staff from undue stress. That is why it is important that unauthorised absence is managed consistently and fairly to help minimise the impact on the wider workforce and ensure diligent colleagues aren’t left to pick up the slack on a regular basis. Between the cold, dark mornings and the allegedly most depressing day of the year, “Blue Monday” approaching, it’s easy to understand the appeal of an unauthorised duvet day. It’s a good idea to reconsider your current absence policy; one option might be to allow employees additional flexibility to book leave at short notice. Managing staff absence can seem like a daunting task, but it’s too important to ignore. A carefully implemented absence policy could help to improve productivity, boost staff morale and protect your bottom line.’
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