POSTED: July 06 2021
Absence more difficult to record since the pandemic, businesses say

Absence more difficult to record since the pandemic, 80% of businesses say

Four in five employers that measure the impact of sickness absences admit it has become more difficult since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to research undertaken on behalf of Group Risk Development, (Grid), while a healthy 85% of organisations record employee absences, just 63% of these actually measure the impact of sickness absence on their business. Four in five businesses suggest absences are more difficult to record since the onset of Coronavirus, as furlough and working from home have masked sickness absence.

Of the businesses who document absence, 44% favoured recording the number of lost hours or days, with 40% preferring to calculate the cost of sick pay provision. The remaining 16% monitor the impact of absence in terms of lost productivity.

Absence management portals, such as those that feature on advo-one can help employers to record and monitor absence. By using an absence management portal geared for SMEs, it becomes far easier for employers to measure the impact of sickness absence on productivity, or highlight areas for improvement.

Ellie Sultana, interim Employee Benefits manager at advo, commented that wellbeing services such as employee assistance programmes can offer support that commences before an employee is off sick – which reduces the probability of absence in the first instance.

She also comments that employer sponsored group risk benefits such as income protection, life assurance and critical illness can provide vital financial support for the individual – but the overall premise of these group risk benefits is increasingly geared towards helping the employee remain in work, or supporting the process of a sustainable return to work.

Catherine Moxam, spokesperson at Grid, explained that employers, insurers and advisers need to work together to determine the best approach to supporting staff, as the true measure of any business is how it treats its people, particularly when they are at their most vulnerable through sickness or injury.

If you feel your business could benefit from an absence management portal or expert advice on wellbeing and group risk products, talk to advo today.

The research was undertaken by Opinium among 505 HR decision makers at UK businesses.