The cost of employee poor health to business – what can employers do?

In late 2015 CIPD ran it’s annual 15th survey on Absence Management with 396 companies across a variety of sectors.  We outline the key findings below:

1) 1 in 5 people take a day off work due to stress

2) In the last 6 years, the number of working days lost to stress, depression and anxiety has increased by 24%

3) Less than half of employees said they would feel able to talk openly with their line manager if they were suffering from stress

4) 70 million working days are lost each year in UK due to mental ill health, costing UK annually £70 – £100 billion

5) A quarter of people consider resigning due to stress

So what can organisations do to improve their absence and the mental health of their employees?

Companies who track their absence data and manage employees when they were absent, and on their return, see the most improvement in their absence figures. Also, companies who include absence management in their KPIs are considerably more pro-active and focussed on managing the issue. The results also showed that companies achieving their absence targets were more likely to promote health and well-being. Management training in managing absence, identifying mental health issues, and being supportive to employees has been shown to make a real difference to employee attitude and attendance, and many companies are introducing, or considering the introduction of Employee Assistance Programmes and/or wellness programmes. Promoting a healthy culture is appreciated by most employees who value their work-life balance, personal health and well-being is a great focus for most employees. The full report is available at