Why Is January The Worst Month For Sickies?


Why is January The Worst Month For Sickies?

Did you know that January is the month with the highest number of sick days? With colds and coughs, back and muscle pain and mental health issues as the most cited reasons.

Recent research in HR Grapevine found that the number of employees taking sick days in January 2017 (1,248) was 53% higher than the average for the other 11 months of the year (816). The winter months are the most popular for sick days, with January being followed by February, with 1,114 sick days taken; and March, with 1,054.

A recent report by the Office for National Statistics suggests that the main causes of sick days in the UK in 2017 were minor illnesses – like coughs and colds. Musculoskeletal problems – such as back pain, neck and upper limb issues also featured highly on the list, as well as mental health issues such as stress, depression and anxiety.

Having clear policies on sickness & absence, as well as having the tools in place to manage and analyse absences in your business can help you to manage and reduce the number of absences. Having a clear idea of the type of illnesses that your team or company are taking, if there are any patterns to the absences, what triggers are causing it will help your business determine if there is anything you can do as employers to better support your employees. Ensuring that your employees take enough time off, and frequently throughout the year, not just using it all up in the summer months, will also ensure that they are well rested and less likely to succumb to physical illness.