Ahead of the Government’s Sickness Absence Review it has emerged that the number of women claiming sickness benefits is rising faster than men.

According to analysis of the Department for Work and Pensions statistics by Legal & General, during the 12 months from February 2010 the number of female claimants grew by 39 per cent, compared with the male caseload which rose by 26 per cent.

Diane Buckley, Managing Director of L&G Group Protection, said: “These figures show that some employers are struggling to cope with their staff’s illnesses at work and just how important it is to provide good quality support for women in the workplace.”

Mike Tyler, Health and Productivity Managing Director at Buck Consultants, is hopeful that the Government’s report will offer initiatives to help support and improve employee wellness. He pointed out that workplace absence costs the UK economy millions of pounds every year.

“The challenge will be getting our country’s CEOs and MDs to draw the cause-and-effect link between quality management and reduced absenteeism – and that ‘quality management’ means taking responsibility for the health and wellness of British workers,” he commented.

The Sickness Absence Review is expected to be announced later this month, and has been conducted by Dame Carol Black and David Frost.