No matter what the size or nature of a business, managing employee sick days, lateness and holiday leave is something all employers have to tackle at some stage.
With that in mind BrightHR, a people management software company has published its holiday and absence trends for 2017 based on customer data from their employee absence management system.
The data makes for interesting reading and reveals some fascinating trends into how the UK took time off in 2017.
The findings can help businesses get prepared for the year ahead and avoid the dreaded question... where is everyone?
The data gathered from Sussex provided BrightHR with some fascinating insight.
Primarily as the date with highest rate of sick leave was a complete anomaly compared to other regions.
The most popular date was December 11, which has now been dubbed Black Ice Monday and was due to the settled snow in the area which caused disruption on Sussex’s roads and railways.
Another surprising finding was that Tuesday, not Monday was the most popular day to call in sick, with flu, food poisoning and migraines being the most common reasons for an employee taking sick leave on, what is now called, truancy Tuesday.
Some of the stranger reasons for not coming into work included getting a splinter and having to fill in as someone’s birthing partner!
BrightHR Chief Technical Officer Alastair Brown said: “The month with the highest sicknesses logged was October with the start of winter taking a toll on employees and flu viruses starting to spread around workplaces and schools.
“There is some good news for employers with staff named Maxine and Alistair though, employees with these first names are the least likely to take a sick day.”
“In terms of holiday leave, December was the most popular month for employees to submit holiday requests. The reason for this was employees booked holiday for Christmas and New Year, used up any remaining leave and tried to secure leave for the school summer holidays in 2018 to ensure they got ahead of their colleagues.
“The most popular date to book off in 2017 outside Christmas was the 25th of August; this was due to employees wanting to extend the last summer bank holiday.
“We don’t always think of lateness as absence, however it is. When managing staff absence it is important to keep records of employees being late as frequent latenesses can add up and cost your business.
“Our data shows that Edinburgh was the city with the most employee latenesses with the main excuses being bad weather disrupting travel and general traffic chaos.
“Some more far-fetched excuses included three employees blaming their lateness on a possible alien attack. Not surprisingly the bus stop capital of Europe, Birmingham was the city with the most punctual employees.
“From our findings, we can see that good absence management is imperative for a business as it can increase efficiency and reduce the impact of day-to-day staff absences.
“The right absence management system can be used as a tool for a better connection between you and your employee. This will help create a working environment where staff are highly motivated and where they’re also able, to be honest about any time off that they might need. It will also save you from a flood of paper holiday forms handed in at the start of December each year, as staff start to plan their activities for the festive season and you will no longer have to ask... where is everybody?”