We get many enquiries about Managing Absence and according to the Office for National Statistics an estimated 137.3 million days are lost to sickness absence in the work place.

Approximately 34.8% of absences were blamed on minor illnesses such as coughs and colds and 19.8% of absences related to musculoskeletal problems (including back pain, neck and upper limb problems). However, mental health illnesses (stress, depression and anxiety) are an increasing problem causing 7.7% of the absence.

By measuring absence levels you can not only discover whether there is a problem in your business but also why your employees are absent. You can identify if there is a pattern to the absences (e.g. mainly self-certificated absences on a Friday) or if absences are higher in one particular team compared to another and put measures in place to address such issues.

Paula Fisher.

You can contact Paula on

If you feel that you need guidance or advice on this matter, please call Practical HR on 01702 216573 or email Paula on the above.