Make UK survey warns workplace absence higher in UK chemicals sector and among manual workers
8 May 2019
Sick leave increased fastest among chemical industry manual workers in the last year, revealed a survey from manufacturers’ organisation Make UK.
While overall absence in manufacturing rose very slightly from 2.2% in 2017 to 2.3% in 2018, there was increased variance between sectors said the report’s authors.
Within the rubber, plastics and chemicals sector average absence had jumped from 5.5 to 6.2 days.
The figures were also more pronounced for manual workers, on 6.8 days average compared with 3.9 days for non-manual staff.
Smaller firms of fewer than 50 employees outperformed medium sized companies with 101-250 people; their absences rose from 3.7 days to 4.2 on average but were considerably lower than the medium firm average of 6.3 days missed.
Regional variations were also marked. The East Midlands was highest with 6.9 days while Wales had the lowest record with 4.4 days.
Make UK director of labour market and health and safety policy Tim Thomas remarked of the findings:
“Manufacturers will want to look carefully at our latest absence benchmark trends and review their policies, procedures, support and wellbeing practices as a result.
“The challenge for manufacturers now will be to realise the productivity and workforce engagement gains in reducing the working days lost by manual workers in particular, and focus on improving their existing well-being and return-to-work practices.“