The average number of days lost through sickness absence in general manufacturing in 1997 was 9.1 days per worker, equivalent to 4% of total working time, according to figures published by the CBI and private health insurer BUPA.
Workers in manufacturing take almost a day per year more sick leave than the national average across all sectors, the figures revealed. Non-manual workers took an average 6.8 working days off sick, while manual workers took an average of 10.8.
Public sector employees took almost two days more per year than their private sector counterparts.
On the basis that the average cost of a day’s sickness absence per worker is £478, the CBI estimated that the cost to UK business of sickness absence in 1997 was £11bn.