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IPD reports one-third of sickness absence `has nothing to do with ill-health’


The latest Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD) survey reports that just over a third of all sickness absence, amounting to over 3 days per employee per year at a cost of over £4 billion, has nothing to do with genuine ill health.

Instead, changes in workforce morale and/or workload are responsible for staff ringing in sick when they are actually in good health.

Diane Sinclair, the IPD's Adviser in Employment Relations says that "organisations which have poor management, low morale and increased work pressures will see their employees take increasing amounts of time off as sick leave."

Although most large organisations have formal policies in place for managing absence, reducing levels of sickness successfully has to involve tackling the root of employees reluctance to go to work. One third of respondents to the IPD's survey have done this by giving priority to flexible working practices such as job-sharing, flexitime or self management.


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