TRANSPORT staff absence levels have been increasing over the last 12 months, according to one fifth of transport firms in the UK that took part in a study by Close Brothers Asset Finance.
According to the Close Brothers' "Business Barometer", more than a third of SME owners interviewed in the transport industry believe that their organisation has a problem with employees abusing sick leave.
Minor illnesses, such as the flu, was said to be the main cause of employee absence by 61 per cent of employers surveyed, with post-operative recovery the second most common reason for time off work, reports Lloyd's Loading List.
Managing director of the Transport Division at Close Brothers Asset Finance, John Fawcett, said: "While the majority of sick leave taken is genuine, absenteeism is a growing problem for many transport firms and if not managed properly, it could have a serious impact on productivity levels.
"Our research suggests that a considerable number of employers are concerned about the level of non-genuine sickness within their organisation. In the current climate, many workplaces are already stretched and employers are aware that they have a responsibility to protect their staff from undue stress.
"That is why it is important that unauthorised absence is managed consistently and fairly to help minimise the impact on the wider workforce and ensure diligent colleagues aren't left to pick up the slack on a regular basis," he said.
"Between the cold, dark mornings and the allegedly most depressing day of the year, 'Blue Monday' approaching, it's easy to understand the appeal of an unauthorised duvet day. It's a good idea to reconsider your current absence policy; one option might be to allow employees additional flexibility to book leave at short notice," said Mr Fawcett.
Source : SN-TR.