Personal and family problems major reason for employee absence

Employers urged to support employees in both work and personal lives

Personal problems and family problems are a major reason behind the fact that almost six in ten employees (57%) have taken a day off from work despite not being ill.

Research carried out for Canada Life Group Insurance, published today, shows that although 43% of employees say that they only ever take time off work because of sickness, 12% have taken time off to look after family members, while 10% were unable to attend work due to childcare issues. 

Emotional problems, such as relationship break-ups, have been the cause of 10% of cases of employee absence, with women slightly more likely to cite them as a reason for taking time off (11% compared to 7% of men).

The number of employees who would consider not going into work because of a relationship issue is even higher, at 23%, suggesting that emotional wellbeing is considered to be on a par with physical wellbeing. 

The research of 1,226 UK residents also shows that one in 10 have taken time off because they have a hangover, while 6% of men have taken time off to enjoy good weather, and 4% to watch a sporting event.

Meanwhile, 6% have taken time off to avoid a difficult situation or problem at work.

Paul Avis, sales & marketing director at Canada Life Group Insurance, said that employers should make sure that they support their employees in both their work and personal lives.

Giving employees access to counsellor or advice services means that employees are likely to be more productive, Avis added.

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