What Is The Most Common Reason For Absence From Work?

What Is The Most Common Reason For Absence From Work

It is too early to say whether this signals a change in that trend. However, it does mean that sickness-related absences continued to fall in 2018. The rate of improvement slowed down slightly last year, but this is still the tenth consecutive year of steady improvement since current records began with employee absence management.

However, the Rates of Improvement Slowed in 2018

However, the rates of improvement slowed in 2018 and it’s too early to say whether this signals a change in that trend. The number of days lost due to sickness absence fell by 0.5% in 2018, but has fallen by 9.7% since 2013 (when it peaked at over 40m).

Striking To See Variations

It is particularly striking to see variations between workers with different characteristics. For example, there is a significant variation by age. In particular, the rate of sickness absence among older workers is higher than for younger ones (4% compared with 2%). The same applies for disability: those who report having a disability are more likely to be absent from work than those without one (9% and 4%, respectively).

One reason why older workers are more likely to take sick leave may be that they are less mobile due to health problems or disabilities caused by aging. Another possible explanation could be that older employees tend to have been in the same job longer than their younger colleagues and therefore have accumulated more sick days over time; this would mean they take fewer days off in total but have higher rates of absenteeism due to sickness.

Demographics Behind the Sickness-Related Absence.

This gender gap has also been identified as one reason why disability-related absences are higher among women than men. Here again, the reasons for this disparity are complex; however, some key factors include:

  • Women are more likely to take on caring responsibilities for children or family members (e.g., elderly relatives).
  • Women are able to work in industries such as healthcare and social work where there is relatively high occupational demand for staff members who can work flexibly due to caring responsibilities – meaning they may have less freedom over their working hours than some male colleagues enjoy.

Sickness-Related Absence Peaks.

The most common reason for sickness-related absence is stress.

We all know that stress contributes to illness, but it may surprise you to learn that it accounts for a large proportion of short-term absences in the workplace. In fact, it is estimated that approximately one-third of all illnesses are caused by work-related stress. Stress can be root reason by many things such as long working hours or financial worries, which can lead people to take time off from work due to exhaustion, headaches, and other negative effects on their health (Employee Absence Management).

Male Employees Are Consistently More Likely To Report.

The gender gap in absenteeism is partly driven by roles. Men are generally and likely than women to work in physically demanding jobs, where they are exposed to risk, or which involve long hours. These factors can make it harder for employees to report sick or stay at home if they don’t feel well (for example, someone who works as a roofer may have trouble taking time off when their back hurts).

Adults With Disabilities Have Much Higher Rates of Sickness.

In general, adults with disabilities have much higher rates of sickness absence than those without disabilities. Women are more likely to report a disability than men.

The Government Equalities Office reported that the average number of days lost due to sickness absence. The report found that the percentage of employees with a disability who took time off work each year was between 13% and 15%, while it was 8% or 9% for those without.

Sickness-Related Absences.

  • back pain and stomach aches. When you experience a lot of stress, your body starts to produce more of the hormone cortisol. This causes muscle tension and fatigue — two things that will make it difficult for you to get out of bed in the morning.
  • Stress is also linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety disorders. They’re likely going through some very real struggles both physically and emotionally — which can impact their ability to go into work each day feeling healthy enough to do their job well.

According to the HSE’s Latest Labour Force Survey, UK Workers Take Around 31m Working Days Off Every Year Because of Work-Related Stress, Depression or Anxiety.

  • Stress is not just a problem for the workplace, but also home and personal life.
  • According to the HSE’s latest Labour Force Survey, UK workers take around 31m working days off every year because of work-related stress, depression or anxiety.
  • The main causes of work-related stress are:
  • Workload/work pressure
  • Poor management/leadership (management often don’t recognize the problems)


So, why do employees take time off work? While there are many reasons for this, the most common one is sickness. The HSE’s Labour Force Survey found that around 21% of people had taken time off because they were ill during 2018. This rate has been decreasing steadily over time, but it’s still higher than other types of absence (Employee Absence Management) like bereavement or parental leave.

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