Covid-related absences double at UK companies in June costing employers £544 million

Covid-related absences rose sharply at UK workplaces in June, with lost working days increasing by over 100% compared with May 2022, according to wellbeing and performance experts GoodShape.   

In June 2022, 3.8 million working days were lost due to Covid-related illness, compared to 1.7 million days in May 2022. In May, Covid-related absences cost UK employers an estimated £267 million. In June that figure more than doubled to £544 million. The findings are drawn from GoodShape’s database of more than 750,000 employee records and real-time management information derived from reported absences. 

Week by week snapshot of Covid impact on businesses  

Covid-related absences began to rise the week commencing 6 June and appear to have peaked week commencing 27 June.  

Date Number of working days lost Unique instances of COVID-related absence Estimated cost to UK businesses   
W/C 6th June 814 thousand  196 thousand  £111.6 million  
W/C 13th June 980 thousand  214 thousand  £134.5 million  
W/C 20th June 1.34 million  314 thousand £184.4 million   
W/C 27th June 1.65 million  375 thousand £226.4 million 

Industry breakdown  

In the full year from June 1st 2021 to May 31st 2022, the Health & Life sciences sector (including the NHS) and the Education and Training sectors were most heavily affected by Covid-related absence with 28% of all absences caused by Covid. This was followed by Transport and Logistics (27%) and Consumer & Retail (27%). The sector the least impacted by Covid-related absences was Workplace Services with 15% of all time off due to Covid. 

Commentary 

“The Covid crisis is not over. These findings give us genuine, real-time visibility of the growing risks facing UK employers and their staff.” says Alun Baker, CEO, GoodShape. “We know that most large employers don’t have reliable information or strategies in place. Employers need robust processes, effective absence management and data to understand and respond to the growing problem of workplace wellbeing.”  

Baker added: “Absences attributable to Covid highlight a wider, endemic problem in the world of work. This is as much an economic and managerial challenge as it is a clinical risk. Health and wellbeing impact on morale, staff retention and operational performance. Poor performance damages our economy. So, how we manage Covid will set the agenda for how we improve productivity and our future prosperity.” 

Author: Editorial Team

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