The 2008 survey from the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development shows absence for all workers fell from 8.4 days per employee per year in 2007 to 8.0 days in 2008. Public sector absence remains the highest, but has fallen from
10.3 days to 9.8 days, voluntary sector absence fell from 9.6 to 8.7 days, while in the manufacturing and production sector it fell from 7.6 to 7.2 days and in private sector service firms it remained static at 7.2 days. Employers estimate the average cost of absence at 666 pounds per employee per year.
Short-term absence remains the biggest problem for private sector organisations. Absence of up to 7 days accounts for 74 per cent of overall absence in the private sector, compared to 50 per cent in the public sector. Long-term absence of more than four weeks is more prevalent in public sector organisations, accounting for 29 per cent of working time lost to absence, almost double that of private sector organizations which is 13 per cent.
The survey also included an assessment of rehabilitation support to help employees make successful and long-lasting returns to work. Such services are most common in the public sector, where 84 per cent of employers offer them. This contrasts with 48 per cent in private sector services, and just 25 per cent in organisations employing fewer than 50 people.
The survey is available from CIPD. http://www.cipd.co.uk/subjects/hrpract/absence/absmagmt.htm?IsSrchRes=1