Absence and presenteeism costs the UK £77bn in lost productivity, according to the ‘Britain’s Healthiest Workplace’ survey. This is a staggering amount, but for smaller businesses absences usually have a bigger impact in the context of their own day to day operations.
Putting this into everyday terms, there is the direct cost of absence – paying for temporary cover as well as the sick pay and other contractual entitlements for the absent employee, and the cost of potentially exiting the employee. There is also the less tangible ‘cost’ of the impact on other staff who may have to cover workload. The flip side is presenteeism – staff members turning up to work when they’re ill, not performing their best, completing tasks poorly, and possibly even spreading germs to colleagues.
There is good news though - there are simple steps you can take to reduce absences and to implement health and wellbeing programmes in your business that doesn’t cost a fortune or take up much time. For example, Wellness Checks are a simple 15 minute health check that can identify heart disease, diabetes, cholesterol and kidney disease, and can be carried out onsite.
In one instance, when the team carried out Wellness Checks for a Police Force the team met one seemingly healthy 36 year old officer. The Wellness Check identified him as being severely at risk of a heart attack or stroke which could have potentially been fatal unless preventative measures were put in place immediately. We were able to direct the officer to his GP and as a result he was put on medication to manage his health risks.
According to the British Heart Foundation, the average recovery time from a heart attack is three months, with a further three months to get back to working full time. If you consider that the salary of a police officer with five years’ experience is £30,000, with a sick pay policy of six months’ full pay, this could cost the Police Force at least £15,000, before incurring the costs of covering the officer’s duties. Not only was this cost saved, but potentially so was the officer’s life.
These checks, when combined with our physical and mental health first aid courses and stress management training help you prevent absences from occurring. Alongside this we have our Proactive Absence Management (PAM)™ process and HR Medical Specialists who can help you manage absences effectively. This means we are able to provide a holistic health and wellbeing strategy to support your employees, and minimise the impact of absence, without placing a significant financial burden on your business.