Sickness absence costs London firms £250,000 a year

December 4th, 2012 Category: Building Management

Employers are well aware that members of staff will inevitably fall ill from time to time and are unable to come to work.

But sickness absence can be particularly costly for an employer. Indeed, new figures from the Greater London Authority (GLA) show that firms in London lose about £250,000 every year as a result of this problem.

Of course, sometimes it just can't be helped, particularly at this time of year when it seems everybody is being floored by a winter bug.

But that doesn't mean employers can't do anything at all to reduce the chances of their workforce falling ill and needing to stay at home.

After all, taking care to ensure the working environment remains clean and hygienic is certainly a good place to start if you want to keep members of staff in top shape.

And bringing in office cleaning specialists isn't the only thing you can do. Perhaps offer workers some fresh fruit or give them subsidised gym memberships. Maybe encourage them to be more physically active when travelling to and from work, such as by commuting on a bike.

Victoria Borwick, deputy mayor for London, said: "Improving the way we think about health, as employers and as staff, has obvious personal benefits, but it also can have a positive impact on organisations, including the financial bottom line."

"If people are fitter and healthier they are less likely to take time off and evidence shows it can reduce staff turnover as well."

In these tough economic times, businesses sometimes can't afford the financial impact of a member of staff being off work, so surely if they can possibly do anything to make this less likely, it is an investment worth making.

Nobody is saying this is a guaranteed way of stopping employees getting ill – it's always going to happen. But there's nothing to lose from taking steps to encourage your workforce to be as healthy as possible and focusing on making your premises a clean and pleasant environment in which to work.