Stress, and stress-inducing situations, are the main causes of short-term absence (i.e. up to 26 weeks) according to research from Group Risk Development (GRiD), the industry body for the group protection sector. Home and family issues account for one in five short-term absences; dealing with childcare issues accounts for nearly as many absences at 17 per cent; and dealing with eldercare issues accounts for one in ten absences.
Whereas acute medical conditions (such as heart attack/cancer) and musculoskeletal conditions both account for 15 per cent of short-term absence, stress and stress-inducing situations compound as the main reason why employees are unable to go to work.
The research asked 500 HRs the key reasons for short-term absence within their organisations.
Excluding minor ailments, the main reasons for short-term absence are:
Home/family issues 20%
Child care issues 17%
Acute medical conditions (e.g. heart attack/cancer) 15%
Musculoskeletal (including back pain) 15%
Subjective conditions (i.e. the illness can’t be identified by objective testing) 13%
Stress-related mental ill health 12%
Issues with providing elder care 10%
Recurring or chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes) 10%
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