2016 CIPD Absence Management Survey: Absence statistics and insights

Posted on November 9, 2016 by Katie Droogan

2016 CIPD Absence Management Survey: Absence statistics and insights

Do you know your employee absence rate? Do you know the reasons for absence? And do you have a strategy to tackle absence? The 2016 CIPD Absence Management Survey in partnership with Simplyhealth reveals important trends on absence levels that UK employers should pay attention to.

Here we look at a snippet of the findings.

You only need to consider the average cost of absence being £522 per employee per year to realise the effect high rates of absence may have on your organisation's bottom line. Whether you have 10 employees or 1,000 this cost is significant. It is essential to consider why high absence rates occur so organisations can begin to implement an effective absence management strategy and ensure the cost of absence doesn't have a serious impact on the organisation.

What are the main causes of absence?

The most common top five causes of short-term absence

The most common top five causes of long-term absence

Stress remains as a top cause of absence for both long-term and short-term absence. Although prevalent in both public and private sector organisations, differences in the nature of work and demographics of employees are some of the reasons as to why public sector organisations are more likely to report stress as a key cause of absence.

The survey highlights that volume of work is the top reason for the increase in stress-related absence during the past 12 months. This prompts the questions should organisations be doing more to manage stress among their employees and ensure employees can manage their workload?

Have you seen an increase in stress-related absence during the past 12 months?

How is absence currently managed?

Just a quarter of survey respondents report that absence management is among their top three greatest people management priorities and is a key focus for their organisation. Not surprisingly too, organisations with higher absence levels are also more likely to be the ones that consider absence management a priority. Surely it would be more effective to consider an absence management strategy as a priority before it begins to affect your organisation?

In terms of managing absence, most organisations use a combination of methods such as providing flexible working and offering leave for suitable circumstances to manage short-term absence, whilst return-to-work interviews remain as one of the most common methods used for long-term absence. Can it be said that these methods are the most effective in ensuring absence is managed correctly and successfully?

The 2016 survey provides full detail on the most effective methods for managing absence along with much more information on what organisations are currently doing. To download the survey in full click here.