Every year, employee absence due to sickness, ill health and poor wellbeing is costing the UK economy a fortune. According to a new report by the CBI (the Confederation of British Industry), in partnership with Bupa and HCA Healthcare, last year companies lost an average of £720 per person per day of workplace absence. On average every employee in the country takes 5.2 days as sick leave each year, which equates to a significant loss of productivity and, ultimately, a massive cost to the economy.
The CBI published its findings in a new report, ‘Front of Mind: Prioritising workplace health & wellbeing’, today, 11 September, after surveying 347 businesses that together employ 1.7 million people.
“People spend on average 90,000 hours at work over a lifetime, so businesses should prioritise and promote health & wellbeing in their workplaces,” says the CBI’s Chief UK Policy Director Matthew Fell.
A growing problem
The report reveals that almost one-third of working-age people in Britain have a long-term health condition – a figure that’s estimated to damage the economy by £100 billion a year. It’s also believed that up to 5 million workers could be experiencing a mental health condition this year, while 1.3 million suffered from a new or longstanding work-related illness last year.
“Companies perform better when their staff are happier, healthier and more engaged,” adds Matthew Fell. “There are great examples of firms leading the way, but we’ve also found that most businesses don’t yet know how to realise the full potential of taking action.”
You’ll find the press release, ‘Time for employers to place workplace health & wellbeing front of mind’ on the CBI’s website, where you can also follow the link to the full report.