Almost a quarter (24%) of UK small business managers say they have seen absence levels increase in the last 12 months, according to a new report.
The Close Brothers Business Barometer also found that 19% have seen absence levels decrease, 54% have not noticed a difference, and 3% are unsure.
Minor illnesses, such as cold and flu, are responsible for the most unauthorised time taken off, according to two thirds of employers. Post-operative recovery is the second most common reason for absences.
While the majority of sick leave is genuine, many employers are concerned about the amount of non-genuine sick days being taken, especially as workers may be more tempted to call in sick in the winter months.
To avoid these unauthorised absences, Mike Randall, CEO of Close Brothers Asset Finance, says “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.
“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.”