Top level influence cuts absence rates

first_imgTop level influence cuts absence ratesOn 6 May 2003 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos. Previous Article Next Article Comments are closed. Organisations where senior management rather than line managers haveresponsibility for absence are more successful at reducing the number of daysstaff take off through sickness. The CBI’s annual survey looking into the costs and reasons for absence in UKindustries finds the overall number of days lost fell by 5.7 per cent in 2002to an average of 6.8 days per employee. However, in organisations where senior managers have responsibility forabsence management, the number of days lost per employee was just five,compared to 7.6 days where line managers have responsibility. Clare Hinkley, policy adviser at the CBI, said the survey showed the clearadvantages of ensuring absence is managed from the top. “When senior management sign up to an absence management policy, itmeans a company is not just going through the motions,” she said. Hinkley added that line managers must strike a difficult balance between theneed to control absence and maintaining good day-to-day working relationshipswith those they manage. Line managers can also lack ready access to absence data, limiting theirability to recognise patterns and carry out targeted ab- sence managementintervention. The survey also shows that with 8.9 days lost a year, public sector absenceis much higher than the private sector, where 6.5 days were lost on average. The study reveals that one of the reasons for the slight drop in days lostis that employers are generally becoming more sophisticated at absencemanagement, such as return-to-work interviews. The survey of more than 500 employers finds the cost of absence to businessremains high at £11.6bn in 2002. By Ben Willmott www.cbi.org.uklast_img

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