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Nov 23 2011
Absence ‘increases workplace stress’

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Bupa survey highlights impact on employees left ‘holding the fort’
HR managers have told Bupa that staff absenteeism is putting extra stress on employees who are left to “hold the fort”.
More than half (51%) of 100 HR managers surveyed by the insurer said that employee absenteeism increases workplace stress, with colleagues having to pick up the extra workload and take on extra overtime.
Just under half (44%) of all respondents said that (excluding private health insurance) their company does not have a workplace health programme such as absence case management in place for all employees.
A third (31%) reported a lack of awareness about what schemes are available while 22% said they were uncertain about where to focus resources to improve health within the organisation.
A quarter of respondents were unaware of the independent sickness absence review published yesterday, when surveyed earlier this month.
Commenting on the findings, Alex Perry, director of healthcare provisioning, Bupa said: “While while many companies know that there are potential benefits to investing in workplace health, one of the biggest barriers for employers is understanding how and where to invest in order to receive the most benefit.”
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s annual absence management survey shows that fewer than a third (30%) of employers evaluate the impact of their well-being spend, although this is an increase on 17% in the 2010 survey. Organisations that evaluate their well-being spend are twice as likely to have increased their spend this year.

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