The CIPD’s 2015 Absence Management Survey  highlights that – over the last 12 months – nearly one third (31 per cent) of employers have reported a rise in employees going into work, despite being ill – so-called ‘presenteeism’.

It also highlights that this figure increases where a culture of working longer hours is considered the norm, and where operational demands take precedence over employee well-being.

I have to say these statistics surprised me, particularly given the current heavy focus placed on employee health and well-being. Over recent years, they have become hot topics – frequently reported by the press. And they are becoming ‘top of mind’ for many employers. Whether it’s considering health benefits for staff, mental health awareness, or supporting staff with financial education programmes, a lot of organisations seem to be taking the issue seriously.

Statistics like those from the Absence Management Survey should ring alarm bells. The time has come for companies to be doing more to support their workers and to protect their well-being. At the end of the day, a healthier and happier member of staff is likely to be more engaged and loyal to their employer, which will have an impact on their productivity. Now is the time to knock ‘presenteeism’ on the head; line managers need to recognise when a member of staff is too unwell to perform in their job, and to provide them with the necessary recuperation time.

By Ian Bird, Business Development Director at Secondsight