What has caused the cost of absence to increase dramatically?

Recent research suggests that the UK is experiencing an uprising of absence issues, costing millions of days in lost productivity. According to The Centre for Economic and Business Research, workplace absence costs the UK £18billion per year. In 2020, it is predicted to cost the UK economy £21billion and by 2030 it thought that it will reach £26billion.

It also found that over half of UK employees are still going to work even when they are suffering from work-related health issues. Interestingly, a third of respondents admitted that they have considered moving jobs due to the negative impact of work on their health. This is thought to be the highest percentage in Europe.

The reasons for the increase in absence vary but it is worth noting that employers have a higher number of older workers than ever before. There has been a 30% rise in 55- to 59-year-olds working between 2009 and 2016, with the 60-64 age demographic seeing a 49% increase. What this means is that there is an increase in the number of musculoskeletal injuries and long-term absences caused by surgery and this trend that will only continue as the retirement age increases.

There is also considerable evidence which suggests that there has been a 71% increase in mental health issues in the last five years. Professionals aged 30- to 40-years-old are most affected by this, citing reasons such as stagnant wages, rising costs of living and the need to balance work with other life pressures.

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