Public v Private Sector Absence – is it ‘sporting’ to compare?

I was reading the Telegraph online the other day and saw an article about public sector absence. Apparently official figures show public sector workers are 63pc more likely to go off sick than their private sector counterparts.  A by-product of ‘sickie-culture’ claims Francis Maude  and I must agree it seems a shockingly high figure to me. And you know what? It’s our money being wasted.

With the CIPD Absence Report indicating that generally absence figures are falling and that it is long term sickness absence that is on the rise, does this imply that public sector employees are suffering more stress than private sector employees in these tough economic times? I think I might challenge that…

Private sector organisations have always had to focus on the bottom line. Anything that increases costs or reduces income has to be justified. Wasteful, inefficient organisations just can’t survive in a competitive environment. Historically, public sector organisations have been more focussed on spending rather than saving and have certainly been less business-focussed. Maude is probably correct when he blames ‘bad management’ for the figure.

Whatever the reasons behind the statistics, Maude’s call for quarterly reports on sickness absence means that it is now a priority for public sector managers to capture employee time and attendance accurately. This can be easily achieved with an automated workforce management solution that can track and monitor absence . Maybe this short list of 10 top tips to help reduce absence  will be useful for organisations in either sector that are serious about taking control of their employee absence?

Never forget, you can’t manage what you don’t measure!


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