Dubbed ‘National Sickie Day’, today is the day of the year that has traditionally seen the highest number of UK employees calling in sick.
Statistically, over the years this is when most people had called in sick to work using a range of different reasons to take the day off, costing the UK economy as much as £34 million in salary, reduced productivity and, lost opportunities.
Although the first Monday in February sees the highest absence rate across the year, Mondays in general are still top of the Sickie leader board. A survey of 9,700 employees found that the absence rate on Mondays remains almost double that of Fridays (23.5 % compared to 13.2%).
Naturally, genuine absences cannot be helped and, without the right measurement tools, it is difficult to judge whether it is purely coincidental that the absence rate on Mondays is so high or if people are taking advantage and looking to extend their weekend. Whatever the case, employers need to be aware of this growing trend which is costing businesses both money and productivity.
So, what can you do?
Tackling sickie days within your workplace does not have to be a minefield, some handy suggestions, which may help, include:
- Ensure clear, transparent and robust sickness absence management processes are in place within your organisation. Make sure these are promoted internally so that everyone is clear on what they should be doing when sickness absence occurs.
- Engage with your employees and listen to them, this can help identify any behavioural changes and warning signs sooner enabling you to take a proactive approach.
- Have an occupational health provider in place and ensure they work closely with your HR team to enable early intervention and relevant recommendations.
- Invest in a Day One Absence Management Service (such as Absentia) to take away all the hard work of monitoring and managing your employee absence. This can also increase manager compliance to the critical policies you have shed blood, sweat and tears creating.