Tax breaks could help businesses tackle long-term sickness absence


Tensor Workforce Management System

Allowing employers to offset private treatment costs for staff as a business expense would help them tackle the spiralling costs of long-term sickness absence, according to the EEF, one of the UK’s largest employer bodies.

Research carried out by EEF and Jelf Employee Benefits found that 41 per cent of companies have reported an increase in long-term absence in the last two years, with back problems and musculoskeletal disorders the main cause.

Of the employees covered in the survey, 5 per cent were off work for a period of four weeks or more, with employers reporting that the time it took to get medical tests, investigations, surgery and subsequent recovery all contributed to the levels of long-term sickness absence.

Two-fifths (40 per cent) of companies still rely exclusively on the NHS as the primary source of treatment to reduce absence, despite the introduction of the government’s Fit for Work (FfW) service in 2015, EEF found. Just 18 per cent of employers in the manufacturing industry currently pay for non-NHS treatment for staff.

The EEF said more incentives should be introduced to encourage organisations to provide private healthcare, help tackle the UK’s chronic sickness absence problem, take the burden off of the already under-pressure NHS and in turn address the UK’s productivity puzzle.

“Keeping people fit and healthy, while enabling a speedy return to work from absence, is essential to economic growth. Healthy employees experience fewer motivational problems, are more resilient to change and are more likely to be engaged with business priorities,” said Terry Woolmer, head of health and safety policy at EEF.

The survey found that 60 per cent of manufacturers would pay for private treatment if the cost was offset as a business expense.

Employee management systems can help mitigate the effects of long-term sickness absence

Tensor plc is a market leader in the employee management systems’ segment. We supply an extensive range of systems designed specifically to help HR departments record accurate data regarding the employee’s activity, their performance, as well as their attendance.

Our flagship WinTA.NET integrated workforce management solution incorporates a dedicated Absence Planning and Entitlement Management feature.

WinTA.NET is a web enabled, mobile / wireless technology based Time & Attendance system designed for those companies employing 20 people to 10,000+. The solution provides total control over the creation of working rules, Access Control, Job Costing and System Security and has specifically been designed for multiple companies, each managing multiple sites.

Our comprehensive, yet user-friendly software comes pre-loaded with graphical calendar charts that provide a colourful way of viewing an individual’s or a department’s absence records.

Each employee can be allocated different entitlements for absence such as annual leave or allowed sickness. As absence is booked and taken, the remainder available for each entitlement is updated. Entitlement formulae are used to calculate more complex entitlements calculated on a rising scale based upon length of service.

WinTA.NET supplies the relevant managers with information on employee’s absences through warning email notifications or via hardcopy reports. After that, the system would rapidly identify missing employees that are expected to be at work and then informs you via automatic email reporting reports distributed by email.

If you’d like to find out more about the Tensor workforce management solutions, just contact our team or Book a Demo, we’ll be more than happy to answer all of your questions and queries.

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