Given the relentless focus that all organisations seem to have on increasing productivity and minimising cost, one could be forgiven for thinking that the issue of absence management would be something that every business has already got under total control. However, the recent publication of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s (CIPD’s) annual Absence Management Survey demonstrates very clearly that this is not the case, and offers some useful pointers for policing, says Graham Smith.

This is the 16th year that the CIPD has produced this report and it serves as a timely reminder to all forces of the need to constantly focus on employee well-being and to review the effectiveness of existing absence management practices. The results from this year’s survey indicate overall absence across all sectors has risen from an average of 6.6 days to 6.9 days and that the total cost of absence per employee, per year, is potentially as high as £1000. From a financial, if not from a moral, perspective, therefore, the need to ensure a healthy workforce should be clear to everyone, particularly in a demanding working environment, such as policing.

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