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Workplace Insight - Caring responsibilities are main cause of workplace absence and lower productivity

By Sara Bean 14 June 2017.

An increasing number of workers are taking on caring responsibilities, be this for children, elderly relatives or other dependents, and it’s becoming a major cause of workforce absence, claims new research. According to data released by group risk industry body GRiD, for 61 percent of employers these issues are a main cause of short-term absence (less than 4 weeks); for 49 percent of employers these issues are a main cause of mid-term absence (4 weeks to 6 months) and for 43 percent of employers these issues are a main cause of long-term absence (in excess of 6 months). They can also be a contributory factor in the development of mental illness or the deterioration of mental health. Indeed, mental ill-health is another major cause of absence, due to the knock-on effects of stress and deteriorating mental health that results in more absence. In terms of what employers are doing to reduce absence and improve attendance, flexible working comes out as the top-rated solution, with 36 percent of employers citing this as one of the measures they have put in place to minimise absence.

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