New research by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has revealed the cost of sickness to the UK economy has reached £29bn, as UK workers take four times as many sick days as their global counterparts.
UK workers take an average of 9.1 days off per year due to sickness — almost double the amount US workers take (4.9 days), and four times more than workers in the Asia Pacific region (2.2 days).
Although the average number of unscheduled absences in the UK has dropped from 10.1 days in 2011, more of these are now due to sickness. Sick days now account for more than 90% of UK companies’ absence costs, which also include compassionate leave and industrial action.
Jon Andrews, human resources consulting leader at PwC, said “Absence is still a significant drain on British Businesses. At a time when companies are striving for growth it is vital they address this cost by looking for ways to improve employees’ health, morale and motivation. Allowing greater workplace flexibility could go a long way to helping break the sickness cycle.”