Expert Investigations, a commercial detective agency is reporting an increase in the number of false absenteeism cases they investigate.
The company investigates up to 150 cases a year with a continuous rise of enquires for their services each month. The numbers reflect the devastating impact that absenteeism is having on the UK economy, costing on average £17million a year.
False absenteeism costs employers a considerable amount of time and expense, and can put additional stress on colleagues, causing poor morale.
According to the latest Labour Force Survey statistics more than 131 million days are still being lost to sickness and absence every year in Great Britain alone. Furthermore, a survey of 1,000 British employees undertaken by Timeware suggests that almost 60 percent of those surveyed had pulled a ‘sickie’ in the last three years.
Expert Investigations reports that companies of all types and sizes, will contact them when they feel something is wrong but cannot prove it. The detective agency is able to gather evidence which can then be utilised as the organisation sees fit, whether that is in the internal discipline process, tribunal or civil proceedings.
Often, false absenteeism is based around finance where an employee is either found involved with secondary employment, running a business or being involved in supporting a family business.
Recently, a company from the manufacturing sector called on the agency to look into a suspected false absenteeism case, where an employee was off long-term sick with stress and depression.
Known as Operation Tractor, it carried out observation and surveillance on the suspect and found he was not only carrying out house renovation, but had set up a business with a member of his family and a bonafide business with a number of properties which he then carried out maintenance work for. The employee was not only absent from work on full pay, but was receiving additional payment from his second job. The evidence produced led to immediate dismissal of the employee.