81% of workplace absence last less than a week

New data shows long-term absence review only tackles small part of major problem. Absence Manager responds to DWP’s commitment to tackle the problem of long-term sickness absence.

The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has set out its response to the recommendations by Dame Carol Black and David Frost in their major review on ‘Health at work – an independent review of sickness absence’.

Commenting on the DWP’s announcement, Matthew Bergmann Smith, Chief Executive of Absence Manager, the UK’s leading provider of cost-effective technology services to manage unplanned workplace absence, said:

“The government should be commended for its commitment to tackling this expensive problem. An assessment centre for the long-term sick is an important first step but it does raise questions about whether employers have mechanisms in place to identify appropriate cases for such referrals. “The vast majority of people in the UK are not work-shy. While the report begins to address the issue of long-term sickness absence, it does not touch 81% of the absence e

pisodes affecting organisations across the UK. Our work with some of the UK’s leading private sector businesses, who collectively employ 80,000 people, shows that four in five of those taking unplanned absence are away for less than seven days. Our clinical partners tell us they cannot reduce the length of these short-term absences so there is no value in referring them to an assessment centre.

“Ultimately tackling the problem of unplanned absence is the responsibility of employers and their managers. Organisations need fair and equitable policies and processes which make every manager accountable for absence within their team, regardless of their level. Having clear and workable processes will help employers to determine which cases should be referred into the government assessment centres to support in-house management.

“This new initiative should not be seen as a way to outsource the management of absence. The Government should set a leadership example by instituting robust processes across the civil service to demonstrate they work.”

Learn more about this from our panel of experts at our evening seminar in conjunction with the IOD on the 27th February 2013.

Matthew has extensive business experience having worked in production environments, product development, sales and at board level with a number of employers during his early business years.

He has worked in diverse range of businesses, ranging from water sports clothing to medical technology, development and consulting. He totally understands that customer focus is the key to delivering technology and services that really work for the user and the customer.