IES: Absence rates improve with wellbeing initiativesStaff now take into account the severity of any illness more seriously than when deciding whether to take time off work, according to an employment expert.

Sue Hayday, senior research fellow at the Institute for Employment Studies argued that the recession saw employees put greater consideration into calling in sick, while companies have invested more in health and wellbeing as part of their employment strategies.

Staff are more willing to come to work as a result of such schemes and employer’s may see that this has a positive effect on a business’s performance, she said.

Her comments follow data from the Confederation of British Industry released earlier this week, which revealed slightly improved absence rates among UK firms and the private sector taking fewer ‘sickies’ than their private sector counterparts.

Ms Hayday added that this was down to the fact that public sector firms tend to be far larger in terms of staffing numbers, despite bosses generally having better policies on sickness available to them.

By Cameron Thomson