Q2 saw 32,397,966 working days lost due to COVID-19 related absences

During Q2, there were 32,397,966 working days lost due to COVID-19 related absences.

This is according to FirstCare, the absence management company, Index report which found that these absences cost UK businesses £4,262, 890, 284.

It also stated that the retail industry saw the greatest increase in absence with a 363 per cent increase from the previous quarter. The NHS has also seen an increase of absence rates of 108 per cent.
Across the UK, businesses have seen a significant increase in long-term mental health-related absences.

Ian Caminsky, CEO of FirstCare, said:

This year, those insights have become more important than ever. We are proud to be supporting NHS Trusts to FTSE 100 companies, helping each one to mitigate the unique challenges of COVID-19.

To add to this issue, in August Robert Walters, a specialist professional recruitment company, report ‘Burning the Candle: Strategies to Combat Workplace Burnout’ found that 47 per cent of managers fear their employees may suffer from ‘burnout’ due to the challenges COVID-19 has brought to working.

Over a third of staff (36 per cent) have said their mental health has suffered during the COVID-19 crisis.

Also, even though almost two-thirds (61 per cent) of workers think that wellness policies are important, only a third of companies offer what is required by law to their employees.

Dean Forbes, CEO and member of the board of CoreHR writing for HRreview back in February 2019 said that before the outbreak of COVID-19 absence rates were an issue for companies.

Mr Forbes said:

According to CoreHR’s Smart Talent Expects report, as much as 41 per cent of the UK’s top performing employees are close to breaking-point, with working practices negatively impacting their emotional and physical well-being. Low morale and toxic, high-pressure working practices can significantly impact employee absence, which is why workplace culture and HR strategies must lead the business to breaking bad habits. Happy and engaged employees don’t feign sickness, so businesses who spend the day fielding calls from sick workers must weigh-up whether they have the right strategies in place, or if they’re managing staff in the right way.