Staff absence in the public sector differs little from that in the private sector when it comes to time lost by condition as a percentage of total time lost, according to a study by Active Health Partners.
AHP’s Sickness absence: what is the difference in the public sector? report also found that the overall frequency of absence was marginally lower (about 10%) in the public sector compared to the private sector.
But when it came to long-term absences, employers in the private sector benefited from staff returning to work more quickly. The 5% of longest absence episodes were typically 27 days in the public sector compared to 17 days in the private sector.
The top reasons for absence were the same in both cases. Musculoskeletal problems were the main cause of absence in both sectors, followed by mental health issues and gastrointestinal illnesses.
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