Coping With Staff Sickness

Free advice for small and medium businesses

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The NHS is offering a free telephone advice service for small and medium businesses to help them deal with staff sickness.

The Health for Work Adviceline offers employers and managers immediate and confidential advice from NHS occupational health professionals on all physical and mental ill-health issues.

According to the Adviceline, 23% of non-manual workers suffer from psychiatric problems caused by high levels of occupational stress resulting from demanding work requirements, problems balancing home and work life, bullying and lack of support.

The annual cost of sickness absence and worklessness associated with working-age ill health in the UK is put at more than £100 billion - more than Portugal's GDP.

According to Health and Safety Executive, 36 million days were lost in 2008 as a result of work-related ill health or workplace injury and the worst performing organisations lost an average of 12 working days per employee.

The NHS service also says that companies with higher levels of staff engagement have 13% lower staff turnover and less than half the UK average sickness absence.

If you own or manage a small or medium business and need advice on coping with an employee who is off work for a long period of time with back pain, or someone who frequently takes days off sick, or trying to support a staff member who wants to keep working but has physical or mental ill health concerns, please call the Adviceline on 0800 077 8844 or visit www.health4work.nhs.uk for further information.

April 9, 2010