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Record number of work days lost to long-term sickness

Long-term sickness levels continue to be a significant challenge for employers with recent statistics revealing concerning trends. In the period from October to December 2023, the number of economically inactive individuals aged 16-64 due to long-term sickness surged to a staggering 2.8 million. This data underscores the pressing need for proactive measures to address this issue, as highlighted by various experts in the field.

Speaking to People Management, Jon Boys, a senior labour market economist for the CIPD and Julia Turney, a platform and benefits partner at Barnett Waddingham gave their views.

Boys expressed concerns about the persistent challenges posed by long-term sickness amidst low unemployment rates. This conundrum suggests a mismatch between available job opportunities and the workforce’s ability to participate fully.

Addressing these issues requires a multifaceted approach. Turney emphasised the importance of data-driven strategies to understand and tackle the root causes of economic inactivity. She also discussed the significance of prioritising occupational health services and creating supportive work environments that mitigate stress and promote well-being. By proactively addressing these factors, employers can foster a healthier and more resilient workforce.

Our article, Absences due to ill-health (long term) provides detailed information and support on dealing with this topic.

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