Employee sickness is costing UK firms billions in lost productivity every year, with new figures revealing the overall cost to be £20.9 billion on average.
A recent survey conducted by Peninsula reveals that 408 million days lost through absenteeism is costing resulting in high costs for employers, prompting concern over the productivity loss arising from ill workers.
In addition it was also found that 81.6 million days are lost due to fraudulent sick leave, at an annual cost of £3.5 billion.
This suggests that many businesses are facing significant loss of productivity due to workers taking cheeky days off sick, impacting upon revenues.
Overall, the average number of sick days taken is 16 days, double that of the 2002 average of eight days. Mike Huss, employment law director at Peninsula, argues that more stringent action should be taken to combat this trend.
"Employers need to take action against bogus illness," he states. "It is all too easy for an employee to ring in sick, they still get paid for it and there is no follow up regarding the excuse as to why the employee was off."
The Confederation of British Industry reports that an average of 6.4 days were lost by workers in the south-east last year due to sickness, according to Basingstoke Business News.