Aviva research: Employee wellbeing is primary concern during long-term absence

Over half of employers (61%) said their primary concern when an employee goes on long-term absence is the individual’s health and wellbeing, according to Aviva UK Health’s 360 Degree Absence Management study.

A further 23% were anxious about the pressure this absence would put on other employees’ workloads.

Nearly half (50%) of respondents considered long-term sick leave to be an issue for their business with 27% admitting it gave them a major staffing headache.

The highest contributors to workplace absence are musculoskeletal problems (27%), cancer (19%), mental health issues (30%) and drink and drug related issues (16%). Nearly one in five employers (16%) have had staff with heart problems.

Steve Bridger, head of group risk at Aviva UK Health, said: “Our research clearly shows that many organisations are affected by long-term sickness absence.

“Employees need care and consideration when they are unwell but, crucially they also need expert physical and psychological support to help them return to, and stay in work. The key to successful absence management is about prevention, as well as treating problems once they arise.”

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