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Absence Risk Barometer launched to help employers predict staff absenteeism


Employers can now calculate the risk of employee absence in their business, following the launch of the Absence Risk Barometer

The Barometer, introduced by absence management provider Active Health Partners (AHP), quantifies the risk of absence in different companies and sectors by creating an estimate of reasons for absence.

This Simple Risk Estimate (SRE) produces a ‘risk profile' for specific sectors, companies and departments to allow employers to develop the most relevant, efficient and cost effective absence management policy.

AHP took evidence based approach to compile a list of primary factors in staff absence - such as mental health, musculo-skeletal problems, gastrointestinal problems - to calculate the frequency of each of these across sectors. It then multiplied frequency by the mean number of days' absence, in order to come up with the SRE.

This means employers can use the SRE to find out the main causes for absence, on average, in their sector, and work out how vulnerable they are to absenteeism.

The first report shows absences in the Government sector have risen by 18.3% from April to June 2009 compared to the same period in June 2008. And considering the mental health SRE for the sector is 47.32 - compared to 39.98 in 2008 - the impact of lost output correlates with absence due to mental health. This highlights the area where action needs to be taken in the sector.

Bruce Robinson, chief executive of AHP, said: "Businesses are increasingly confronted by complex risk and employee absence has a very significant impact on an organisation's operations. As such, it should be measured and managed in the same way as any other business risk. Through collating so much data and extrapolating the risk factor of specific absence indices, we can accurately assess the specific absence risks within most organisations in the UK."

The Barometer will report key findings every quarter, examining trends and comparing with the same period in previous years. Each report will also provide a case study, highlighting an organisation that is successful in reducing employee absence figures.