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Survey Report:

Absence management 2013

Resource summary

This report, produced in partnership with Simplyhealth, sets out the findings of the CIPD’s fourteenth national survey of absence management trends, policy and practice. The survey provides useful benchmarking data for organisations on absence levels and the cost and causes of absence as well as a focus on employee well-being. The analysis is based on replies from 618 organisations employing a total of 2.3 million employees.

The survey reports that, after a small decrease last year, absence is back up to the levels observed in 2011 and 2010, at an average of 7.6 days per employee.

Employers are making changes to working patterns and environments as a means of managing long-term absence levels, and are also increasingly using flexible working as a tool to manage short-term absence. Over 70% of employers have reported that introducing flexible working opportunities in the past year has had a positive impact on absence levels.

"The high costs of absence and ‘presenteeism’ highlight the value of a strong focus on
managing health for all organisations. Effective communications with employees
and line managers to identify threats to well-being and a robust understanding of the
causes  of absence are an essential part of this to ensure effective and timely interventions."

The report includes a case study from EDF Energy, which is embedding health and well-being into its existing safety culture and 'zero harm' approach.

Contents of the report

  • Summary of key findings
  • Rates of employee absence
  • The cost of absence
  • Causes of absence
  • Stress and mental health
  • Managing absence
  • The impact of government initiatives on absence management
  • Employee well-being
  • Employee absence and the economic climate
  • Conclusions

Private and public sector summaries are also available to download from this page.

To view the full resource, register for a free account

Sign up for a Free CIPD Website Account to Keep Reading. It takes just 2 minutes to sign up for a free CIPD website account, giving you access to hundreds of factsheets and guides. You'll find the website registration box on the right hand side of this page.

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