Sickness absence from the workplace falls to its lowest level on record

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Sickness absence from the workplace has fallen to its lowest level on record, new figures reveal.

The Covid pandemic has helped reduce absence rates, as more people have worked from home or forced to shield, according to a report.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate fell to 1.8% last year, the lowest level since current records began in 1995.

Around 118 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury in 2020, equating to 3.6 days per worker.

The Covid pandemic may have led to additional sickness absence, but measures such as furloughing, social distancing, shielding and increased homeworking appear to have helped reduce other causes, said the ONS.

Minor illness was the main reason for sickness absence in 2020, including coughs and colds, while since last April, coronavirus accounted for 14% of the total figure.

The highest sickness absence rate in 2020 was in Wales, at 2.2%, 0.4% higher than the UK rate.

London had the lowest sickness absence rate at 1.4%.



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