Dealing effectively with absenteeism

This article has been supplied by our channel sponsor, Health Shield.

Absenteeism can have a suffocating effect on UK businesses, amounting to millions lost in working days and plummeting productivity in both the private and public sectors.

Absence management is a crucial part of creating a happy and healthy workforce and ultimately a profitable business. Employers should ignore the issue at their peril, particularly in the current economic climate when external pressures on businesses have never been greater.

Recent figures from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) show that UK employers lost around £13.2 billion through employee absenteeism in 2009.

The absence of one individual can have a significant domino effect on the entire business through associated costs such as: arranging overtime and temporary cover, reduced productivity, lost management time, and the potential impact on existing client relationships.

Health Shield has helped hundreds of organisations to successfully implement simple, yet cost-effective health cash plans. These form part of an effective absence management programme, which in turn has positive repercussions on staff recruitment, retention and health and safety. In essence, by positively addressing the issue of absenteeism, employers can improve staff morale, boost motivation and ultimately increase productivity.

A large number of companies have snapped up cash plan schemes, taking advantage of the diverse range of benefits that are available from as little as 75 pence per week.

Health cash plans from Health Shield pay for everyday healthcare and well-being related benefits with 100 per cent refund towards dental, optical, physiotherapy, specialist consultation and treatment costs.†

The comprehensive cover supports employees in leading a healthy lifestyle through access to a network of health clubs, traditional and complementary treatments, as well as offering support and advice on a wide range of health and medical issues. In addition to other benefits, they also provide Employee Assistance Programmes (EAPs) and a 24-hour free ‘phone helpline that can aid people’s return to work, helping to reduce the financial burden on businesses and employees, as part of wider employment scheme.

The breadth of low cost healthcare cover enables many employers to address the health and well-being of their staff to ensure that they’re working towards duty of care responsibilities and legal obligations; importantly, it helps businesses to create a sustainable ‘fit-note’ not a ‘sick-note’ culture.

For more information on Health Shield and its health cash plans visit