Long-term sickness absence is having an adverse affect on employee morale, according to a new study from Aviva UK Health.
Nearly 25% of employees, including contractor accountants, say they don’t enjoy working for a business where colleagues are absent on long-term sick leave. 22% are annoyed, and feel overworked, when a colleague is off sick and nearly three quarters said they would be concerned about going back to work if they’d had a long period of sickness leave.
10% of employees are worried that their employer will go out of business and they’ll be without a job if a colleague is sick for a long time.
Nearly 70% of employers say that long-term absence is a problem for their organisation. The Aviva research discovered that mental health issues have forced 20% of workers to take long-term sick leave and 24% have been off sick with muscular or skeletal conditions.
Meanwhile, another study, this time by vielife and London South Bank University, has discovered that employee wellbeing is increasingly being discussed at company board level.
44% of finance directors think that employee health is a strategic priority for the board and 38% of HR directors say the same. 72% of HR directors, and 60% of finance directors, also said that productivity and competitiveness were threatened by workplace health.
Finance directors showed a lot more concern about long working hours, lack of exercise and bullying in the workplace than their HR counterparts. Stress also showed up as a major concern with many respondents and 35% noted that stress-related absence had increased over the past year.
Jess Colling, the product director at vielife, said it’s good to see that directors no longer see employee wellbeing as a soft and fluffy issue and that they realise that taking care of employee health issues can benefit the bottom line.
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Image: sick by Leonid Mamchenkov