News & Views

Fit notes haven't reduced "sickies"

BY Ian Watson
Employment law
BG Purple

The latest review of Absence and Workplace Health by the CBI/Pfizer shows that, despite the introduction in February 2010 of the Fit Note to replace the old sick note system, average days lost per employee have marginally increased to 6.5 days per year.

The figures show that 190 million working days were lost to the UK economy in 2010 at a cost estimated at £17bn, including £2.7bn from 30.4 million days of non-genuine sickness absence.  This does not include the indirect costs of absence – like lower customer service and lost productivity.

The gap between the best and worst performing organisations widened in this period, with the best performing quartile achieving an average of 2.2 days lost per employee and the worst an average of 10.7 days per employee.

Our experience at Law At Work is that clients who initiate a programme of concentrated absence management, involving line managers, manage to reduce their costs considerably by impacting absence levels in the organisation.

We can help:

  • through advice to our clients on individual problem attendance cases
  • through HR Project advice about revising and sharpening up employer’s Absence Management systems
  • through in-house Training Projects to get line managers on board with the skills and enthusiasm needed for tackling the problem employees.

See our HR Consultancy and Training pages for details of these services.

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