It is estimated that the economic cost of absenteeism in the U.K. in 2020 will exceed £21bn and by 2030 a staggering £26bn.
Costs continue to rise in line with increases in physical and mental health illness in the U.K despite a trend for increased physical activity and all round better access to health information.
The NHS has been a sound pillar of health and wellness in this country for over 70 years, providing free point of service access to a wide array of medical experts, procedures and healthcare.
The focus primarily, to save and extend lives. Evolution of this naturally promoted symptom led healthcare interventions. In turn, we have become truly great at keeping people who are sick and injured alive for longer.
Unfortunately, as a nation we don’t have a great track record at stopping people from getting unhealthy or sick in the first place. This result is a huge burden on the health of the nation, the healthcare system and the economy.
At a macro level we haven’t done a great job, but as organisations we are in positions to do better for our people. Healthier work forces are happier, more resilient, perform better and spend less time at home sick.
The healthcare approach both in the NHS and throughout many private companies too has been all too rigid in the past….
If you have symptoms we will have a look at you, if you don’t then let’s take it that you’re healthy.
Unfortunately, this is reactive approach has proven costly and we are now in a period of great change.
We are beginning to see a shift away from ‘life extending care’ to ‘life improving care’. Experts are recognising the need for proactive health care approaches. Reduction and prevention, rather than treat and manage. Cure is always a tricky word to use when describing health outcomes.
As we set sail on a path of proactive healthcare, it is time for companies to get on board and ride the wave of health for their people.
Health factors are the single biggest reason for absenteeism.
Many of these health factors are in our control. Absenteeism being shown to reduce significantly with the introduction of health related incentives in the workplace.
We just need to pause for a minute and ask ourselves the important question…
Can we do better for our people?