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HireScores.com Recruitment ForumForum CommunityNews & Information (Moderator: Forum Management)Presenteeism Could Be More Expensive Than Absence
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Author Topic: Presenteeism Could Be More Expensive Than Absence  (Read 898 times)
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« on: July 03, 2010, 12:00:10 PM »

The cost of working when ill could match or account for 1.5 times more working time lost than the cost of sickness absence, according to a new report recently released from The Work Foundation.

AXA PPP says it commissioned the research study Why Do Employees Come to Work When Ill? An investigation into sickness presence in the workplace from The Work Foundation to inform and improve its own practices as well as to help its clients. Researchers found that employers may be at risk of underestimating employee ill health and may be missing warning signals by focusing on absence alone.

The study, which involved qualitative interviews with 25 Axa PPP employees and an online survey of 510 employees, also found that sickness presence was more prevalent than absence, with 45% reporting one or more days working when unwell and 18% reporting one or more days' absence over the same four-week period. The study also found that those who had time off sick were more likely to work when ill. A recent TUC poll found that around 20% of public and private sector employees had worked when ill within the previous month with a further 36% over the past year. Just 13% claimed they had never worked when too ill.

Lead author, Katherine Ashby, said:

"In the current economic climate, with high job insecurity making employees more wary of taking time off, understanding the causes and effects of sickness presence is crucial. In addition to sickness absence, measuring sickness presence may provide a more reliable picture of an organisation's health-related productivity losses."

Researchers found that higher levels of sickness presence were associated with:

    * lower levels of manager assessed performance;
    * lower levels of self-reported psychological wellbeing;
    * higher levels of sickness absence;
    * higher levels of work-related stress;
    * experiencing personal financial difficulties; and
    * higher levels of perceived pressure from managers and colleagues to work when unwell.

Katherine Ashby added:

"It is vital to explore the reasons behind sickness presence, especially any work-related triggers that are adversely affecting the wellbeing of employees which could be addressed in the workplace. Evidence shows that 'good work' or well designed jobs helps to improve motivation, job satisfaction and productivity. We also know that the opposite can lead to reduced psychological wellbeing and ill health. In the same way that sickness absence can be a symptom of underlying issues, levels of sickness presence can also be an important indicator of employee health and wellbeing. Organisations need to be aware that low levels of sickness absence may not tell the whole story. Successfully tackling the underlying causes of sickness presenteeism could improve employee wellbeing and so reduce both sickness presence and sickness absence."
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Jonathan
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« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2010, 12:09:57 PM »

If somebody is paid for being off sick this could never be true...because if you're off you're doing no work and being paid...if you're at work but not 100% at least you'd be doing something...
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Robin Tetley
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« Reply #2 on: July 06, 2010, 03:46:44 PM »

I guess Jonathan that's ultimately true.
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