Sickness Absence on the Increase

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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have released figures to show that sickness absence is on the rise following a drop during the recession. Before the start of the recession, 2.5% of employees in the ONS Labour Force Survey had taken at least one day off sick during the previous week. This figure fell to a record low point of 2.1% in the first quarter of 2009 but was back to 2.5% by the last quarter of 2010. The ONS data shows a weekly average of 613,000 employees absent from work and two million working days lost between October and December, 2010. During this period 2.1% of male employees were absent compared with 2.9 of female employees. The main reason for men being off work was musculoskeletal problems and the main reason for women was stress, depression and anxiety.

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