Workplace absence costs the UK £12.2bn
Workplace absence cost the UK economy £12.2bn in 2004.
The latest annual CBI-AXA Absence Survey, published today, shows that absence cost £495 per employee in 2004 compared with £475 per employee in last year's survey. The overall cost of £12.2bn has increased from £11.6bn in the previous survey. These figures represent the cost of covering salaries for absent staff, the resulting overtime and temporary cover, and lost service or production time.
The survey of over 500 organisations also shows that 6.8 working days were lost per employee in 2004. The total number of days lost to absence across the UK economy fell by 4.5 per cent to 168 million in 2004, from 176 million in 2003. That brings total absence back in line with the level seen in 2002 (166 million days).
The CBI believes rising labour costs and growth in average earnings are the reasons why the total cost of absence has increased despite the lower absence level.
Genuine minor illness - such as flu - was the main cause of absence across the economy in 2004. The second most significant cause of absence was stress among non-manual workers, and recurring illness (for example back pain) among manual workers.