JANUARY IS THE SICKEST MONTH
One in three sick days fall on a Monday and more days are lost to absence in January than any other month, according to research. In an analysis of sickness management records for 11,000 employees, HR consultancy Mercer concluded that January was the month with the highest level of sickness absence, with sick leave averaging half a day per person for the month. A total of 35% of all sick leave was taken on a Monday, with attendance on the remaining working days becoming higher as the week progresses.
LEND YOUR EAR BEFORE NEW YEAR
Employers should sit down with their staff before the new year to discuss ideas for leading firms out of the recession, according to a Government advisor. David MacLeod, co-author of the Employee Engagement Review, said it was essential that employers gave their staff a "good listening to" about what had worked this year and plans for next year, to boost engagement in 2010 and in time for the upturn. His comments came as a survey of more than 2,000 workers, commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, revealed just one in four felt that their managers had clearly communicated their business objectives for 2010.
MENTAL HEALTH WORK SCHEME
The Government has launched a new mental health employment strategy to help more workers with mental health problems find, and stay in, employment. The strategy, published by the Department of Health and the Department for Work and Pensions, aims to reduce the £17.3b a year cost of sickness absence and improve the UK's mental health. As part of a new package of support the government has launched nine pilot occupational health advice lines to support businesses in helping their workers with mental health problems.