The Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the UK WorkPlace

Absenteeism is an employee’s deliberate or habitual absence from work. Every employer expects their staff to miss a certain number of days a year, but excessive absences can decrease productivity and affect the company’s finances.

Causes of Absenteeism

Employees have many reasons for their absenteeism from the workplace, many will be legitimate and others less so. Over the last 20 years working alongside HR managers we have listed some of the most common causes of absenteeism:

  • Childcare / Eldercare: We have often found employees having to take time away from work to care for their families employee Absenteeismhen they cannot afford for professional help.
  • Injuries: Accidents can happen whilst working, but they also can happen away from work, we are often employed to investigate the claims. Chronic injuries such as back and neck problems are the most common cases that we investigate.
  • Depression: Although we are in the United Kingdom, a very interesting fact is the leading cause of absenteeism in the UK is depression. When we investigate employees with ‘Depression’ their actions sometimes show they have turned to substances to self-cure their anxiety.
  • Stress: Due to high demands in the workplace, employees can often gain work stress-related symptoms.
    Illness: Injuries, Illness and medical appointments are the most commonly reported reasons for missing work.
  • Working for Competitors: People are always looking for a way to make more money, and we often find employees to be working for their current employer’s competitors.
  • The above list has been put together from our Investigations and the most common reasons why employees are absent from their workplace. Sometimes employees have legitimate reasons for being away from the workplace for long periods of times, but as an employer, you can’t risk this as you could be wasting resources on an unfaithful employee.

Productivity loses
The rough productivity losses within the workplace is totalised at billions each year around the world. Every workplace is going to have factors that drive down productivity. Employers accept that their employees aren’t going to be glued to their work for every minute of their working hours, and as we have stated above inefficiencies are bound to occur when employees are away from work.

Sources across the internet claim that although they are many different reasons for Loss of Productivity, Absenteeism costs productivity the most. When an employee is absent for a long period of time, employers have to cover the following;

Absent employee wages.
Replacement wages and costs that other employees have to make up.
Costs on looking after their employee.
Administrative costs.
How can employers deal with Absenteeism?

Most employers and HR Managers find it difficult to deal with absenteeism, especially when they are a slight indication that the absent employee is being dishonest and over-exaggerating their symptoms or reasons. Employees want to make sure the situation is being monitored correctly and a procedure is in place, normally set out by their HR Managers.

To address absent employees, some companies reach out and contact Private Investigators who specialise in Employee Absenteeism Issues. The Private Investigators will be able to help you control and manage the absent employees by monitoring their movements and actions whilst they are not at work, in most cases they will find the employee is being dishonest and in fact, they are ok to work. The evidence that the Investigators gain will be presented to the Employer in a professional manner, with time and date stamped footage, which will withstand any legal action that is taken to remove the employee from the company.

Investigating Employee Absenteeism.
If you are thinking about reaching out to a Private Investigator, please contact us.