CIPD warns presenteeism is at record high in UK
The number of people coming into work when they are ill has more than tripled since 2010, according to a new report by Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD).
A new report by the CIPD and insurers Simplyhealth reveals 86% of people surveyed said they had observed presenteeism – or staff coming into work when they are ill – over the last 12 months, compared with 72% in 2016 and just 26% in 2010.
Despite these figures, only a quarter of respondents that have experienced presenteeism said their company has taken steps to discourage it over the last year.
In the past, presenteeism has been associated with increases in mental health conditions and stress related absences.
The survey also found there is a growing problem with leaveism, with more people using annual leave to work.
According to the survey, more than two thirds (69%) of people had seen evidence of leaveism in their organisation over the last year.
And just over a quarter (27%) of those who have experienced leaveism said their organisation is taking action to prevent it.
In addition, nearly one in five respondents (18%) report their organisation is not doing anything to improve employee health and well-being, compared to just 8% in 2016.
“The survey shines a light on the shocking scale of presenteeism and leaveism we have in the UK, as people under even more pressure at work,” said the CIPD’s Senior Employment Relations Adviser, Rachel Suff.
“Increasingly, the threats to wellbeing in the modern workplace are psychological rather than physical, and yet too few organisations are discouraging unhealthy workplace practices and tackling stress, which is strongly linked to health conditions, such as anxiety and depression,” added Ms Suff.
“In order to encourage a healthy workplace, organisations need to look beyond sickness absence rates along and develop a sold, evidence-based understanding of the underlying causes of work-related stress and unhealthy behaviour like presenteeism.
“Without this evidence base, efforts to support employees and improve their health and wellbeing will be short lived.”
To read the full report, click here.
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