If there hasn’t already been one this week, then there’s bound to be one next week – increasingly serious reports about the less than good health of Britain’s workforce
Already this year, it’s been revealed diabetes sufferers have hit an all-time record high (four million) – a figure which is an increase of 65% in just the past ten years.
Meanwhile, according to Macmillan, the infamous ‘C-word’ – cancer – is now predicted to affect 47% of Britons at some point in their lives, an increase of a third in the last 20 years. None of this includes the growth of stress and mental health issues – now regarded as the biggest threat to wellbeing – or obesity, and drink and drugs-related ill health.
In the most recent report by the chief medical officer, sick days lost to ‘stress, depression and anxiety’ have increased by a staggering 24% between 2009 and 2013.
The impact this has on employers is there to be seen. In 2013 – the most recent data from the ONS – some 131 million days were lost due to sickness absence. Although there has officially been a ‘fall’ in absence since 1993 (where it peaked at 178 million days), the rise of presenteeism (being at work, but sick or unproductive), may in fact mean things have become worse.
And, even if this official number is taken as read, it means the average employee is now absent for 4.4 days – almost a week – every year.
What can employers do to meet this challenge?
To read more, download Reward and Medicash’s in-depth guide to workplace healthcare, by CLICKING HERE