Ill Health At Work – The Shocking Statistics

The Shocking Statistics

Sick staff cost British firms £81bn a year for the UK economy

This includes the economic impact of absence due to illness and presenteeism, which is people coming into work either physically or mentally ill.

This recent study from The Financial Times ‘Health at Work’ 2019 report reveals that employees lose 35.6 days of productive time every year (on average) due to ill health or presenteeism. This equates to a massive 7 working weeks of productive time every single year. The study also highlights:

  • UK employees lost 14.6% of their working hours in 2019
    • 1.1% of working hours were lost to absenteeism
    • 13.4% to presenteeism
  • This equals an average loss of 38 days of productive time per employee


Source: The Financial Times ‘Health at Work’ November 2019

Ill Health at Work

There is still work to be done. Ill-health at work is far too high and rising year on year. Types of ill-health include mental and physical, with Britain’s Healthiest Workplace Survey 2019 reporting on the percentage of employees reporting various health Within those researched, employees reported:

  • 56.5% of those asked had one or more work- related stress factors
  • 8.5% of those asked had moderate or severe symptoms of depression
  • 10% of those asked had “A lot” of financial concerns
  • 19.6% of those asked stated they were obese
  • 53.8% of those asked had two or more musculoskeletal issues

It is worrying to note that mental health issues are on the increase, and we believe there are many complex issues surrounding the reasons why, and each one is often unique to the individual so requires experienced and sensitive handling from employers. Some of the reasons regards mental health issues include increased working hours, always being on call via smart phone emails, the uncertainty of Brexit and the changes it may bring, financial challenges and also not knowing where best to turn when depression, anxiety and mental health issues set in.

The strategic issue

Enhancing health in the workplace has moved from being a nice-to-have to a big strategic issue for many companies, and Miller Health are best placed to talk to when looking for an experienced approach to increasing employee health and wellbeing in your workplace.

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Dr Doreen Miller

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