The amount of time lost through sickness absence has fallen to less than 3% after a “slow but sure” decline in the figures, new research has revealed.
Employees took an average of just over six days off sick last year, equivalent to 2.8% of working time, compared with 3.6% in 2007.
There were lower absence rates in London and the South East - 5.3 days - while the highest figure, 6.5 days, was in Wales.
The study of 120 organisations by information firm XpertHR found higher levels of sickness absence in the public sector than in private firms.
The report’s author, Rachel Suff, said: “Reducing sickness absence levels, particularly in the public sector, has been a key public policy imperative in the UK for some years.
“Figures show a slow but sure year-on-year decline in overall absence levels across all employers over the past five years, including the public sector. The difference is that the public sector’s drop has come from a higher starting point.”