On average, workers took 7.8 sick leaves over the last year. Indeed, this is a noticeable rise from the figure of 5.8 before the Coronavirus.
The CIPD has expressed concern over this rising trend, attributing it to multiple factors.
Among the reasons behind the increase are stress, the effects of COVID-19, and the high cost of living.
Concerns Over Well-Being
These challenges have had profound impacts on the well-being of many individuals, according to the organisation.
The research is conducted by Simplyhealth, a healthcare company specialising in outpatient support.
It analysed absence rates across more than 900 organisations, representing a workforce of approximately 6.5 million employees.
Also, it was discovered that minor illnesses were the primary cause of short-term absences, followed by musculoskeletal injuries and mental health issues.
Furthermore, the study revealed that COVID-19 is a major contributor to this, with over 33% of organisations reporting its impact.
In cases of long-term sick leave, employees attributed their absences to mental health concerns, musculoskeletal injuries, or cancer and stroke.
Sick Leave Fuelled by Post-pandemic Changes
The changes in working culture during the pandemic have left many workers feeling disengaged and stressed, according to the CIPD.
For employees who work from home and live alone or have limited social contact, this situation can be particularly challenging.
Most of the organisations surveyed offered sick pay and approximately half had implemented strategies to enhance employee well-being.
However, the CIPD emphasised that the rates of absenteeism continue to rise, necessitating additional measures from employers.
Rachel Suff, a senior employee well-being adviser at the CIPD, stressed the importance of managing the key risks to employees’ health stemming from work-related factors to mitigate stress.
Additionally, early intervention to prevent health issues from worsening is crucial.
Moreover, Suff stressed the need for organisations to foster a supportive culture where employees feel comfortable announcing their health concerns.