It’s often said that the most important assets of a business are its people, and at Miles Smith we agree. It’s why we’ve spent significant time and resource creating EIS, our Early Intervention Scheme. The scheme helps manage employee sickness absence, allowing your clients to run their business stress-free, safe in the knowledge that no matter what happens, they are prepared.
THE STARTLING STATISTICS
Employee absenteeism is an ever-increasing problem for businesses across the nation. It is estimated that the annual cost of work-related injury and ill health costs the UK economy almost £15 billion every year and that 137.3 million working days a year are lost due to sickness or injury in the UK.
THE IMPACT OF EMPLOYEE ABSENCE
Put simply, it’s far ranging. There’s the direct financial impact it will have on your clients’ businesses. Not only will they incur sick pay, they are very likely to have to fund expensive, short-term people cover to ensure they maintain business as usual. But of course, it won’t be business as usual, because in addition to the direct costs, sickness and absence is hugely disruptive to their overall operations and workflow.
There’s the immediate loss of skilled and valued staff; there’s important management time and resource being spent on arranging temporary cover at short notice; there’s the additional recruitment and training costs; there’s the increased workload on colleagues, who are quite likely to become demotivated and stressed. It’s the very definition of a vicious circle. And, of course, there’s the possibility of employers’ liability claims from the employees who are absent. There really is an awful lot to consider.
EARLY INTERVENTION IS CRITICAL
In many walks of life, you will hear about how early intervention is critical, and it’s the same for employee absenteeism. Unmanaged, short-term sickness of up to four weeks can very easily turn into long-term absence. After just six weeks of sickness absence a person’s ability to return to work falls away rapidly, with almost 20% of people who reach this point permanently remaining off sick and eventually leaving paid employment. And, common sense dictates, even if they do manage to eventually get an employee back to work, the longer they have been absent, the harder it then becomes for them to easily integrate back into the workplace. So, if your clients are not in control of the situation it can soon have a far greater impact than just the short-term issues.
So, early intervention is crucial in breaking this cycle. Surprisingly, the majority of people who leave work through ill health do not do so because of a severe illness. Indeed, most suffer from common health complaints experienced by all of us, such as muscle, joint or back pain, and mild to moderate mental health issues. Yet the issue is that without treatment these conditions often deteriorate until they become so debilitating that an employee simply feels unable to return to work. However, these are all conditions that potentially can be treated under EIS.
EIS MEETS A VERY REAL NEED
EIS has been designed to provide fast track access to treatment for employees who are absent from work due to physical injury, stress, depression and anxiety, and helps promote a speedy recovery and quick return to work.
An additional benefit of EIS is that once the employee’s treatment has been completed the employer receives a high-level report from the treating clinician. This provides details of the condition suffered by the employee, its cause, the treatment provided under EIS and an update on the condition at discharge.
The report could be helpful, in the event that an employers’ liability claim is made in the future, to identify a potential fraudulent claim, particularly as the report is compiled by an independent clinician at the time that the employee sustained the condition.
Help your clients manage their employee sickness absence by providing them with quotations for EIS. For more information, please visit www.mseis.co.uk or contact your Broker Relationship Manager at Miles Smith.
Citations from: CIPD Absence Management Annual Survey 2016, Health & Safety Executive statistics 2017, Office for National Statistics.