[Infographic] Staff Absence Trends Tracked

By Lewis Hall
19 Feb 2020

BrightHR has dug out the data, pulled the reports, and crunched the numbers with it's smart absence management HR software to suss out exactly how the nation took time off in 2019.

And the results were surprising...

So, is #humpday a real thing or is it just a trendy #hashtag? Did Brexit influence staff sickies in the capital? And how did the Spice Girls have the (girl) power to shake up attendance? Let's find out...


2019 staff absence infographic

Source: https://pages.brighthr.com/staff-absence-infographic-2019.html


Staff absence trend report

Firstly… what does this data tell us?

This data helps dispel some myths around sickness absence in the UK—Man-flu is not man-true.

And, it highlights some interesting trends, such as the tendency to take time off during festival season. But you’ve seen the infographic. Now, you want to know what action you should take. Well here it is:


Blue Monday is always the third Monday is January. But perhaps that’s not the Monday employers should be worried about.

Maybe it was the physical aftermath of Christmas binging. Maybe employees couldn’t face the first full week back at work. Whatever the reason, 7th January was the most common day for people being off sick last year.

If your workplace suffered from a shortage of staff in January, consider making changes. Review your sickness absence policy. Start conducting return to work interviews. If possible, introduce back to work incentives. If a late start is what it takes to get people back in the office—why not do it? Let your staff turn up an hour later on that fateful Monday. You should see a difference.


What made people book time off work in 2019? Music, mostly.

Festivals can draw people in (and out of the workplace) like nothing else. Unfortunately, this can lead to staff shortages. How to cure this problem?

Review your holiday approval process. Operating on a first-come, first-served basis is usually a good system, but be wary. Failing to follow this process, or making exceptions, can quickly lead to claims of discrimination.

Also, don’t forget the heat.

A massive percentage of employees took time off work in 2019 to enjoy the scorching summer weather. If the past couple of years are anything to go by, we’ll be having another one this year.

Don’t sweat. Be prepared, and stay vigilant for any unauthorised absences.


If you’re an employer, you’ve had to deal with employee lateness at some point.

In the UK, the average lateness is 34 minutes. You may think that’s bad, but it’s nothing compared to Canada (37 minutes), Australia (49 minutes) or the Republic of Ireland (a whopping 50 minutes).

Hump day (Wednesday) was the most common day of the week for employees to waltz into work late. But how do you manage lateness? Here’s three basic steps:

  1. Have a lateness clause in your policies & procedures

Outline the standard you expect from your employees. And, follow up on anyone failing to meet these standards. Without action, policies are just words!

  1. Maintain records of employee lateness

Luckily our BrightHR software can help you do this with ease.

  1. Be proactive when dealing with a late employee

Don’t wait until their lateness gets under your skin. The longer you leave it the more likely you are to handle the issue poorly. Schedule a meeting with them in good time. Collate all information you have regarding their working times, and have a reasonable discussion.

The quick fix for sickness

A quick fix to lateness, overbooking holidays and sickness absence does exist. BrightHR helps you track holidays, log sickness and monitor lateness. And, you can keep all your records in one place.

Speak to a Croner expert today to find out how our software can best support you on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Lewis Hall

Lewis Hall is Croner's Marketing Executive, responsible for producing, sourcing, and organising content across the website. He has a background of working in the legal marketing industry and is also responsible for Croner's social media channels, so keep your eyes peeled for fresh content!


Lewis Hall

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