Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Pounds 1.2bn Cost of All Our Days off Sick

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Pounds 1.2bn Cost of All Our Days off Sick

Article excerpt

Byline: By Ross Smith

Workers in the North-East took more than seven million days off sick last year, costing the region's economy pounds 1.2bn, a survey reveals today.

And bosses believe 13% of sick days in 2005 were not taken for genuine reasons.

The report by business group the CBI shows workers in the region took an average of 6.2 days off through ill health.

The direct cost to employers was pounds 598m, and a further pounds 600m is estimated to have been lost from the economy as a result of the absences. The level of absence in the North-East was well down on the figure of 7.5 days lost per employee in 2004. The rate is slightly higher than the national average of six days per worker.

CBI North-East director Sarah Green said the region would be pounds 100m more productive if absence decreased to the level of the best performing part of the UK, Northern Ireland. She said: "Nobody wants staff to drag themselves into work when they are genuinely ill. …

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