Three years ago, the UK had a reputation for having the worse absentee rates in Europe. It was thought that this was mainly a consequence of the fact that we also had the longest working hours.
Once the recession hit, many business analysts predicted that the level of employee absence would increase as a result of increasing stressful working conditions. However, a recent report by the Office of National Statistics has revealed that, in fact the opposite is true.
The report indicated that the average UK employee now takes almost six and a half days off from work each year, which has decreased by five per cent from the figures indicated in last year’s report.
However, one of the main areas where the UK is still struggling in terms of employee management is unauthorized employee absence. Eighty five per cent of employers say that they have suspected a member of their team has called in sick as a result of a hangover, while over fifty per cent of small business and company formation owners are expecting employee absences to rise when the world cup starts.
Interestingly, the report also found that the employee absence rate was higher in jobs where salaries were paid by the government than in private enterprise.
According to mental health charity Mind, 10 per cent of employees say they have sought support from their doctors and 7 per cent have started taking antidepressants for stress and mental health problems brought on by the recession.