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Key facts and links

Employers are required by law to protect employee’s health at work
As many as 80% of UK businesses currently provide no or insufficient occupational health
Increasing employment litigation is adding to employers risk burden
Healthy and effective workers are much more productive
Effective occupational health provision can save employers significant expense

(Ref: HSE, 2009)


On average 6.4 working days per employee were lost to absence in the UK in 2009, with a total of 180 million days lost throughout the UK. The variation across employment is wide with significantly higher levels in the public sector.

Long-term sickness absence represented only 5% of all absence cases in 2009, but accounted for 20% of working days lost due to sickness in the private sector and 36% in the public sector.

The overall cost of workplace absence remains high, with firms paying £16.8bn in 2009 to cover the salaries of absent individuals with the resulting overtime and temporary cover.

(Ref: CBI /Pfizer Absence & Workplace Health Survey, 2009/2010)

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