Workers took the fewest sick days in 2020 than at any time since records began, according to the recent ONS data.
Whilst covid itself might have led to more sickness-related absence, measures put in place last year such as:
the furlough scheme
appear to have contributed towards the reduction in other causes of workplace absence.
In the UK, the rate of sickness absence was as low as 1.8% last year, which is the lowest level on record. The ONS, which collates data, could not quantify the amount of people shielding that were employed and able to work from home or the number of furloughed workers.
This begs the question: could shifting to homeworking have a positive effect on sickness absence rates? It is thought that last year, many workers that were slightly unwell and perhaps couldn’t have made it into their usual workplace, worked from home on days when they otherwise would have rang in sick.
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